Spaces of masculinities: bachelor rooms in Süleymaniye

Thesis Type: Postgraduate

Institution Of The Thesis: Middle East Technical University, Turkey

Approval Date: 2009

Thesis Language: English

Student: Nurhayat Kızılkan



This study attempts to understand the relational formation of masculine identites and masculine spaces in the construction and production of masculinities by looking at the notion of “bachelor” and the socio-spatial reflections of “bachelorship”, a particular case of manliness in Turkish context, in the case of “bachelor rooms” in Süleymaniye district in Eminönü, Istanbul from the perspective of feminist geography. Neighborhoods gendered with bachelor rooms situated near the commercial heart of the big cities as a sociological and historical phenomenon in Turkish urban context have been christalized reflections of segregated heterosexual gender structure of the society being these neighborhoods the performative spaces of masculinities for centuries. This study also tries to relate the bachelor rooms with traditional single male migration from rural to urban. These neighborhoods provide space for the performance of different masculinities and they function for young provincial men as a kind of “rite of passage” for various kinds of social transitions. The knowledge of migration, of masculinities, and of space related to these transitions is accumulated in the homo-social spaces of the district and constantly recirculated through migrant bachelors among the local traditional masculinities. Masculinities of not only the immigrants from rural, but of urban space, including space bounded masculinities specific to the district have been categorized from the perspective of hegemonic masculinity concept and concluded that the construction of hegemonic type of masculinity with contestations and discourses through performances, representations and the power relations influences the transformation of space and are influenced by these spaces of masculinities.