Challenging Geographical Disadvantages and Social Exclusion: A Case Study of Gendered Rural Transformation in Mountain Villages in the Western Black Sea Region of Turkey

Him M. S., Hosgor A. G.

SOCIOLOGIA RURALIS, vol.59, no.3, pp.540-559, 2019 (SSCI) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 59 Issue: 3
  • Publication Date: 2019
  • Doi Number: 10.1111/soru.12258
  • Journal Indexes: Social Sciences Citation Index (SSCI), Scopus
  • Page Numbers: pp.540-559
  • Middle East Technical University Affiliated: Yes


This article discusses the gender-specific effect of the changing economic structure of mountain villages in Turkey. Rural women, who are conventionally unpaid family workers, have begun entering into off-farm work due to declining household incomes in recent years. The implications of this for gender relations are found to be contradictory in much recent research. In this study, we employed the concepts of the hybridity of rural communities and the multiplicity of social exclusion in a globalising countryside. We used a qualitative methodology employing multiple sources of data. In addition to in-depth interviews with 27 village women, we conducted semi-structured interviews with village headmen and structured interviews with 218 village women to understand the structural context behind the women's narratives. We found that the dimension of social exclusion varies with gender and age within the community. While middle-aged men are increasingly unemployed and have withdrawn into uncompetitive rural life, young women engage in wage work and challenge geographical disadvantages by spending their meagre earnings on transportation and communication technologies. The reconfiguration of marginality within the community, rather than the total marginalisation of villagers, is an ongoing process.