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International Journal of Cultural Studies

Turkishness on the stage: Affective nationalism in the Eurovision Song Contest

by Haktan Ural (2018)

Abstract:
This study examines the Eurovision stage as a cultural space that cultivated an affective-discursive terrain forging Turkish national identity. It draws upon the media texts as a heuristic to examine how an image of ‘Turkishness’ was created and negotiated. Focusing in particular on four specific cases (Semiha Yankı in 1975, Çetin Alp in 1983, Şebnem Paker in 1997 and Sertab Erener in 2003), this study suggests that the Eurovision stage was a space where ‘Turkishness’ encountered an imagined ‘Europeanness’. In these cases, affective discourses gave meanings of national allegories of ‘Turkishness’ to performing bodies on the Eurovision stage. The affective registers generated a discursive formation shaping the contours of ‘Turkishness’ in relation to Europe. Yet these discourses did not generate fixed and stable meanings. In particular, the construction of national success was negotiated and contested in terms of the appropriateness of the national embodiment.

Keywords:
affective nationalism, Eurovision, national identity, representation, Turkey.

(Corresponding Author: Haktan Ural, Department of Sociology, Ankara University, DTCF Kütüphane, Binası, 609, Sıhhiye, Ankara 06100, Turkey. Email: haktanural@gmail.com)

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Ural, Haktan
Turkishness on the stage: Affective nationalism in the Eurovision Song Contest.
In: International Journal of Cultural Studies [Online first] (20.12.2018);
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1177/1367877918820335