This article analyses the social construction of moral outrage, interpreting it as both an extemporaneous feeling and an enduring process, objectified in narratives and rituals and permeating public spaces as well as the intimate sphere of social actors’ lives. Based on ethnography carried out in Istanbul, this contribution focuses on the assassination of the Turkish Armenian journalist Hrant Dink in 2007. This provoked a moral shock and led to an annual commemoration in which thousands of people—distant in political, religious, ethnic positions—gather around a shared feeling of outrage. The article retraces the narratives of innocence and the moral frames that make Dink’s public figure different from other victims of state violence, thus enabling a moral and emotional identification of a large audience. Outrage over Dink’s murder has become a creative, mobilizing force that fosters new relationships between national history and subjectivity, and de-reifies essentialized social boundaries and identity claims.
The March for Hrant Dink and New Ways of Mobilization in Turkey
The Spatial Assimilation of Immigrants
While scholars study residential segregation dynamics in order to understand minorities’ assimilation into mainstream society, less is known about these mechanisms in ethno-national migration contexts. This article examines Israel’s demographic dynamics from 1961 to 2008 in order to evaluate and provide a framework for the process of spatial assimilation of Mizrahim and Ashkenazim in the context of segregation from the Palestinian citizens of Israel. By using the Theil index (H), I assess the level of segregation in different geographic layers and then explore how internal migration has reduced spatial distance within the Jewish society. The analysis demonstrates that despite the disadvantaged position of Mizrahim as of 1961, levels of residential segregation had decreased by 1983. Also, boundaries changed from a variance between Mizrahim and Ashkenazim into a variance among Mizrahim only, with those who relocated as the most spatially assimilated group and those who remained as the most segregated one.
The Making of the 'Golden Cage'
This article focuses on the Greek community of Alexandria, a socially and territorially bounded Diaspora entity that articulates a sense of connection to place through claims of a historically continuous socio-spatial connection to both Egypt and Greece. Through analyses of visual material collected and produced during fieldwork, I explore the spatial and social boundaries of the community before and after Nasser’s 1952 revolution and highlight discontinuities in the narratives and imaginings of the city articulated by different generations. Studying the creation of new borders, I reveal how restriction to, and isolation within, the ‘golden cage’ of Greek areas is both willingly embraced and a source of frustration. I conclude by outlining how spatial and ideological boundaries overlap and how they are shifted and defended by Greek and non-Greek inhabitants of the city.
Much previous scholarly work has noted the gendered nature of humor and the notion that women use comedy in a different way than do their male peers. Drawing on prior work on gender and humor, and my ethnographic work on teen girl cultures, I explore in this article how young women utilize popular cultural texts as well as everyday and staged comedy as part of a gendered resource that provides potential sites for sex-gender transgression and conformity. Through a series of vignettes, I explore how girls do funny and provide a backdrop to perform youthful gendered identities, as well as establish, maintain, and transgress cultural and social boundaries. Moving on to explore young women and stand-up I question the potential in mobilizing humor as an educational resource and a site in which to explore sex-gender norms with young people.
Embracing Contamination in Twentieth-Century Crime Fiction
In Powers of Horror (1982), Julia Kristeva suggests that the corpse is ‘the utmost in abjection. It is death infecting life’. This categorical statement, while not intended for the genre of crime fiction, nonetheless does much to explain the power and appeal of the twentieth century’s most successful fictional formula. For Kristeva, the abject is ‘the in-between, the ambiguous, the composite’ (4); it is experienced as an encounter with ‘an other who precedes and possesses me’ (10) and it is ‘a border that has encroached upon everything’ (3). Borders both defend and confine. They are the necessary limits that protect the subject from psychosis, and they are that which deny us our desired return to a lost imaginary plenitude. Kristeva’s abject evokes seepage, it speaks to the instability of borders, and the impossibility of the pristine, the firm, the uncontaminated. And it is just this sense of unavoidable defilement, this tension between the maintenance and collapse of cultural and social boundaries, that underpins both the crime genre and our fascination with the form.