Toward a Relational Approach? Common Models of Pious Women's Agency and Pious Feminist Autonomy in Turkey

Hypatia 35 (2):243-261 (2020)
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Abstract

This article reviews the common models of pious women's agency in the literature with respect to pious feminist perceptions in Turkey, and calls for a relational approach to subjectivity and autonomy. After critically assessing individualistic models of pious women's autonomy as well as the main theoretical tenets of Saba Mahmood's landmark study on the women's piety movement in Egypt, I argue that previous models cannot fully explain the second stage of pious subjectivity-formation in the pious feminist narratives in Turkey, which combines habituation with informed choice. In the intersection of applied theory and ethnographic empirical research, my study posits the need for a relational reformulation of these common models that can account for self-constitutive engagement with multiple discursive traditions, and the importance of complex and interrelated webs of relationships. I suggest that Jennifer Nedelsky's relational self and relational autonomy and Kenneth Gergen's relational multi-being might provide a starting point for such an approach.

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