The national pedagogy of the early Republican Era in Turkey

Thesis Type: Doctorate

Institution Of The Thesis: Orta Doğu Teknik Üniversitesi, Faculty of Economic and Administrative Sciences, Department of Political Science and Public Administration, Turkey

Approval Date: 2007




This dissertation examines the relationship between body, subjectivity and modernity in the making of modern Turkey. It explores how the “disenchanted” world of the people was “re-enchanted” by the modern, Eurocentric, nationalist and republican program of the republican elite. I call this program as the “politico-moral pedagogy” and argue that it arrives at its peak in the 1930s, when the republican regime was consolidated enough to colonize the bodies and the intimacies of people. More particularly, this dissertation studies the republican power at the intersection of the contested domains of the public and the private. It explores how the Kemalist elite, through operating a public, republican discourse, exerted a significant amount of energy and resources at the intimate sphere for creating civilized, healthy and virtuous generations. It traces the genealogy of the “republican morality” as the kernel of the republican “corporeal” and “sentimental” education under the program of the national pedagogy in the constructed and performative domains of the intimate, where people become the pedagogical object to be transformed into “good, strong and healthy” republican citizens.