Received an award with the doctoral dissertation on the urban poor

Asst. Prof. Dr. Leyla Bektaş Ata was awarded the İlhan Tekeli Urbanism Culture Foundation 2019 Doctoral Thesis Award with her doctoral dissertation completed in 2019.

Received an award with the doctoral dissertation on the urban poor

Asst. Prof. Dr. Leyla Bektaş Ata from Istanbul Gelisim University Faculty of Health Sciences Social Service Department was the winner of the İlhan Tekeli Urbanism Culture Foundation 2019 PhD Thesis Award, which has been given every year since 1996.

Ata, who gave information about the actors that are the subject of her doctoral dissertation titled as “Home, Neighborhood and Urban Experience at the Verge of Urban Transformation: The Case of Limontepe”, said: “They are the urban poor who emigrated in the 1970s from different points to the slums of Limontepe district of Izmir, Turkey; struggling to access basic services until the second half of the 1990s, and whose neighborhoods were officially declared as urban transformation areas in 2012.”

Speaking about the purpose of the awarded doctoral dissertation research, Ata said: “The aim of the study is to analyze the effects of the transformation geography on the use of space by slum dwellers, to examine slum dwelling and living in slums through the current sociality and to reveal the tensions, methods of struggle, reconciliation and separation that this situation carries.”

Ata continued as follows:

“The steps taken by the inhabitants of shantytowns, who cannot gain a rooted place in the city's memory and archive with their temporality, continuity and ambiguity, are made visible in their experience and imaginations of space. While it is based on daily life studies conducted with multiple methods (life stories, ethnography and autoethnography) and an interdisciplinary perspective, the dynamics of the daily life in question are associated with the macro social and political plane.”

Stating that immigration continues for those living in slum areas, Ata said: “People who established Turkey's slum districts are by migrating from different rural areas faced with the possibility of relocation with the effect of urban transformation projects that have taken place intensively in recent years.”

Stating that the slums are mostly closed to those other than the residents, Ata said: “They do not have the socioeconomic opportunities that require those who are not from the neighborhood to visit. This situation brings about observing the diversity of urban life in slums. The anonymity gained in urban life cannot be achieved in slum areas. This situation triggers surveillance and pressure mechanisms especially on young women. The intimate relationship forms resulting from living together in the same region for a long time cause the neighborhood to become related. This situation can legitimize the pressure of the neighborhood.”

Emphasizing that it is difficult to gain class mobility through education for the second generation who grew up in the neighborhood, Ata said: “In this case, the lack of role models, the inadequacy of the regional schools, the limitation of families in orientation are important factors.”

Edited date: 22.12.2020
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