International Society of Political Psychology

Conference Abstracts

Everyday Turkish Discourses on Inequality: Mapping the Culture of Distributive Justice.

B. Aysuda Kolemen Luge, Centre for Policy Research, India

Conference: ISPP 2011
Affiliation: Centre for Policy Research, India
Research Area: Social inequality and social change

Discourses on distributive justice are consequential because they influence the way we organize the economic and political systems. If economic and state institutions vary by country, this is partly because they reflect and promote divergent distributive justice values and definitions of inequality. However, everyday discourses on inequality are not a well-studied topic in political science. In my paper, I will examine the commonalities and differences in how Turkish socioeconomic groups understand and employ distributive justice principles in a variety of discursive contexts. I hypothesize that there will be significant and meaningful disparities in the discourses various socioeconomic and regional groups utilize that help their members understand, justify or disapprove distributive justice decisions and inequalities they encounter in their everyday lives, and that these disparities will reflect their perceived status in the socioeconomic structure.

I conduct Q method studies, followed by focus group discussions in various neighborhoods of Istanbul where immigrants from all regions of Turkey reside. I contact the participants through informal networks. After completing Q studies, in which they rank statements according to their level of agreement, subjects discuss their ranking decisions and opinions on who deserves what in focus groups. Each group consists of people with homogeneous socioeconomic backgrounds to facilitate open discussion. I analyze the Q method results and focus group transcripts to explore the differences in discourses on distributive justice among these groups.