DISCOURSES OF PSYCHOLOGISTS ON SEX/GENDER IN TURKEY: A QUALITATIVE STUDY


Şah U., Tekdemir G.

Asya Studies, vol.5, no.16, pp.151-161, 2021 (Peer-Reviewed Journal)

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 5 Issue: 16
  • Publication Date: 2021
  • Doi Number: 10.31455/asya.909345
  • Journal Name: Asya Studies
  • Journal Indexes: Index Copernicus, Asos İndeks
  • Page Numbers: pp.151-161
  • Istanbul University Affiliated: Yes

Abstract

The aim of this study is to find out ‘interpretative repertoires’ used as discursive resources for sex/gender explanations of psychologists working in various fields in Turkey. Within the scope hereof, in-depth interviews were conducted with fourteen psychologists. Interviews were recorded and then transcribed. Interview texts were analyzed through discourse analysis. As a result of the analysis, four different interpretative repertoires were identified; dichotomy, feelings, nurture and difference. As to dichotomy repertoire, sex/gender is constructed within biology-society and woman-man dichotomies while it is defined as an individual and inner phenomenon in the feelings repertoire. When it comes to nurture repertoire, sex/gender is described as an identity acquired by nurturing processes while sexual differentiation is constructed as the source of difference and variety among people in difference repertoire. The results of the study manifest that the participants conceptualize sex/gender and sexuality within a dichotomous and essentialist framework to a large extent. The discourses of psychologists in Turkey have undergone some shifts in parallel with the transformations in Western psychology, however it is still possible to argue that essentialist, dichotomous and heteronormative assumptions on sex and sexuality keep forming their discourses to a certain extent in explicit or implicit ways. This is connected with the limited relation of (mainstream) psychology to other disciplines, critical and social constructionist perspectives, qualitative methodologies and activism as well as the fact that psychology in Turkey has mostly been imported from the West.

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