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UC Berkeley


Yagmur Coskun - Middle Eastern politics, migration, and labor

Title of the thesis: “A Home That Does Not Halo Our Head with a Special Sun”: Migration, Racism, and Capital Crisis in Turkey.
Findings: The case of the Syrian diaspora in Turkey unsettles the welcoming liberal – nativist conservative binary as well as the poverty-induced racism thesis that are prevalent in migration scholarship. The conservative Turkish government’s migration policy followed a deeply contradictory and crooked path along the years, reflecting the changing dynamics of capitalist expansion and the ensuing colonial desires that¬†were ultimately truncated. The economic and political sea change required a deep rearticulation of ethnic, religious, and national identities, which the government was unable to carry out. Nonetheless, the impact of this policy on the members of the diaspora remains deep.
Favorite classes across disciplines: ISF 100F, Soc 140, Soc 145, Geog C112, Anthro 156A
Value of independent research: Any phenomenon in the real world is connected to any other. Imposing disciplinary boundaries on research can have the merit of focusing the researcher methodologically, but often has the effect of severing the links that really exist for the sake of respecting long-established lines of demarcations. The ISF department allows the researcher to be free as a bird in their approach to their subject matter, but makes sure that they remain thematically coherent. This training sharpens your ability to not only approach anything in life from multiple perspectives, but also to see the connections among those perspectives. Unity in diversity, and vice versa: I believe this is true to the origins of social science as well. (After all, who can really say that Ibn Khaldun, Hegel, Marx or Weber are historians, sociologists, philosophers, economists etc.?). Once trained this way, you carry this multi-dimensional approach everywhere, even if you do decide to specialize in a discipline later on.
What am I doing now: Getting my PhD in UC Berkeley Sociology.
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