Accepted paper:

Honour and Facebook photography in south-east Turkey

Authors:

Elisabetta Costa (University of Groningen)

Paper short abstract:

In this paper I will analyse the photographic material people display on Facebook to understand the way honour and shame are shaped and organised in my field-town in south-east Turkey. I consider Facebook photography as a public display through which men and women compete for social recognition.

Paper long abstract:

In this paper I will analyse the photographic material people display on Facebook to understand the way honour and shame are shaped and organised in my field-town in south-east Turkey, inhabited by a majority of Kurdish and Arab population. I consider Facebook photography as a public display through which men and women compete for social recognition, and at the same time constantly attempt to defend their individual and family honour. Drawing from Abu-Lughod (1985) and Bourdieu (1979) I argue that honour code structures non-intimate and public interactions and practices, and it is observed in front of other people to protect a certain self-image intended for others. Honour and shame are constantly invocated and mentioned by my informants, and the Facebook wall is one of the places where they compete to create and propose specific self-representations. From the visual analysis of the research participants' Facebook photos and from the results of the 12 months ethnography I show what is considered honourable and shameful in my field-site: for example traditional values of female modesty, shyness and deferential attitude overlaps with values of female beauty and female allurement. The dominant cultural ideal of femininity includes modesty and attitude towards family members, beauty and attractiveness. Values of male independence and power go along with values of economic and professional success. The dominant ideal of masculinity includes in particular success in professional activities and career achievement.

panel P04
Comparative studies in social media photography