The “Unique Blend”: Reframing Womanhood through Turkish Drama Series

Ustek, Funda and Alyanak, Oguz. 2017. The “Unique Blend”: Reframing Womanhood through Turkish Drama Series. In: Caroline B. Brettel and Carolyn F. Sargent, eds. Gender in Cross-Cultural Perspective. Abingdon: Routledge. ISBN 9781138216648 [Book Section]

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Abstract or Description

Since 2000s an upsurge in the number of productions and exports of Turkish drama series took place. Today, Turkey is the world’s second largest TV series exporter (Hurriyet Daily News 2014). Gender roles and family ideals portrayed in Turkish series are no longer only consumed by Turkish households, but also Turkish and non-Turkish households in the Middle East, Europe and Latin America. As the series attain a transnational distribution, they transmit values about the Turkish family and convey messages to wider audiences. Politicians, in return, feel a greater need to tighten the grip on producers and to take measures to regulate mediatized representations of family and private life a la turca. Our analysis shows that the series, which are stuck in a tug of war between the Turkish state and its regulatory apparatus, and a popular demand for more sensational as well as sensual plots, display women who can incorporate strong, modern ideals while abiding by traditional gender roles. The women characters of the drama series represent what we call a “unique blend”; they are both rebellious, for they push the boundaries of traditional gender roles, and also conformist, for they do not deviate radically from them.

Item Type:

Book Section


drama series, soap operas, Turkey, gender, media studies

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9 May 2017Published

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Date Deposited:

22 Apr 2016 13:31

Last Modified:

20 Feb 2018 16:15


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