Precarious and Gendered Work: Educator Men at Preschools in Turkey (Bilgit, 2020)

The urban preschools in Turkey, the first cycle and a significant part of the larger neoliberal education market, are places where usually you can only peek-a-boo as an adult. My fieldwork in Istanbul focuses on how educator men navigate performances of gender and carework in a heavily gendered atmosphere. Within the workforce dominated by women in number, men who are doing carework and doing gender display and tell many stories unfolding a precarious condition for both children, and men who provide care and education. Whether they are confided in by employers and parents for the caring and education of the young children is another question. They are considered as role-models, potential threats and insignificant minorities, all at once by employers, parents and sometimes even by themselves. Neoliberal and competitive frames of education market keep consuming and discarding educators regardless of gender to reproduce the old degenerations for new generations. These regimes are also heavily gendered.  They encourage competencies through division of labour based on sex categories, both among children and adult workers. Nevertheless, since it is an institution of care and education, preschool also embodies the potential to challenge the gender and work regimes through educators.

doing gender; male preschool teachers; neoliberal education; precarious work; preschools in Turkey

Challenging Prescribed Identities: A Discourse Analysis of Sexual Orientation Based Identity Narratives in Turkish Mental Health Literature (Bilgit, 2018)


The normative sexuality dictated by gender regimes has been problematized especially in recent decades by medical and social science scholars in Turkey. This article specifically focuses on the course of change in mental health discourses written in the Turkish Language in terms of sexual orientation based identity narrative formations. To reveal the elusiveness of hegemonic discursive formations structured by the authors of such texts, certain interrelations are connected within and among texts. Through a review of several critical texts in Turkish, alternative discursive formations from the discipline are demonstrated. Discourse analysis is conducted of four book-chapters, two articles and one interview which are available and relevant within the mental health literature. This research indicates that although sexual orientation based discourses in Turkish mental health literature have been problematic historically, there is also an accelerating development in human rights based approaches within the field as opposed to those of inequality regimes.

discourse analysis; gender regimes; mental healthcare in Turkey; sexual orientations