Construction of 'new worker' in the post 1980 Turkey: an analysis of discourse of Türk-İş, Hak-İş and Disk

Thesis Type: Postgraduate

Institution Of The Thesis: Middle East Technical University, Faculty of Arts and Sciences, Department of Sociology, Turkey

Approval Date: 2010

Thesis Language: English

Student: Volkan Deli



This study aims at understanding the discursiveness of Türk-İş, Hak-İş and DİSK against the neoliberal policies textually and discursively shaped by the governments and employers in the years between 1980 and 2003 in Turkey. In this sense, Norman Fairclough's critical discourse analysis and Laclau and Mouffe's discourse theory constitute the theoretical framework of this study. In this theoretical perspective, this study analyzes discourses of the labor confederations in four historical moments called January 24 measures (1980 coup), 1994 crisis, February 28 process and 2001 crisis. In each historical moment, governments and Turkish bourgeoisie have produced new hegemonic discourses and texts in order to construct the actors and circumstances of working life under the influence of the global neoliberal order since 1980. Against this neoliberal construction of working life, texts and counter-discourses of these labor confederations become important in order to understand their hegemonic capacities. In this context, this study portrays the relation among governments, employers and the labor confederations in a hegemonic relation and argues that the hegemonic capacities of these labor confederations could not prevent construction of 'new worker' as a prototype in the individualization and flexibilization of working life in the post 1980 Turkey.