Social Media in Southeast Turkey
Elisabetta Costa | February 2016
Open Access PDF
About the book
This book presents an ethnographic study of social media in Mardin, a medium-sized town located in the Kurdish region of Turkey. The town is inhabited mainly by Sunni Muslim Arabs and Kurds, and has been transformed in recent years by urbanisation, neoliberalism and political events.
Elisabetta Costa uses her 15 months of ethnographic research to explain why public-facing social media is more conservative than offline life. Yet, at the same time, social media has opened up unprecedented possibilities for private communications between genders and in relationships among young people – Costa reveals new worlds of intimacy, love and romance. She also discovers that, when viewed from the perspective of people’s everyday lives, political participation on social media looks very different to how it is portrayed in studies of political postings separated from their original complex, and highly socialised, context.
About the author
Elisabetta Costa is Post-doctoral Research Fellow at the British Institute at Ankara (BIAA). She is an anthropologist specialising in the study of digital media, social media, journalism, politics and gender in Turkey and the Middle East. You can find out more about her work as an anthropologist specialising in the study of digital media, social media, journalism, politics and gender in Turkey and the Middle East here.
Table of contents
Introduction: Welcome to Mardin | The social media landscape: Individuals and groups in the local media ecology | Visual posting: Showing off and shifting boundaries between private and public | Relationships: Kinship, family and friends | Hidden romance and love | The wider world: Politics, the visible and the invisible | Conclusion: What kind of social change?
About Why We Post
Why do we post on social media? Is it true that we are replacing face-to-face relationships with on-screen life? Are we becoming more narcissistic with the rise of selfies? Does social media create or suppress political action, destroy privacy or become the only way to sell something? And are these claims equally true for a factory worker in China and an IT professional in India?
With these questions in mind, nine anthropologists each spent 15 months living in communities in China, Brazil, Turkey, Chile, India, England, Italy and Trinidad. They studied not only platforms but the content of social media to understand both why we post and the consequences of social media on our lives. Their findings indicate that social media is more than communication – it is also a place where we now live.
This series explores and compares the results in a collection of ground-breaking and accessible ethnographic studies. To find out more, visit ucl.ac.uk/why-we-post.