April 1, 2020 - 11:30 am


April 1, 2020 - 1:00 pm


Koc University, Rumelifeneri Campus, SOS143   View map

MiReKoc Wednesday seminar co-organized with the Department of Sociology continues with Bürge Elvan Erginli’s presentation on ‘The social space of relations: Local and non-local networks of migrants in Istanbul’. The presentation and discussion will take place on Wednesday, April 1st, 2020, at 11:30, in SOS143. Registration is required for participants not affiliated with Koç University to

Title: The social space of relations: Local and nonlocal networks of migrants in Istanbul

Bio: Bürge Elvan Erginli graduated from Istanbul Technical University, Department of Urban and Regional Planning in 2007 and received her master’s degree from the same universtiy’s Regional Planning Programme in 2010. Between 2012-2015, she worked at Istanbul Sehir University, Center for Urban Studies as a researcher and participated in studies on internal migration in Turkey, electoral geography, Turkish family structure. She completed her doctoral studies at ITU in 2017 on “Migrants’ local and nonlocal social networks”. She has been working as project coordinator at TESEV on data-based urban policy-making since 2015.

Abstract: This thesis aims to investigate the structure and composition of the social networks of migrants who are residentially segregated within the city of Istanbul, and to reveal the forms of local and nonlocal ties of the migrants. In order to do this, the thesis is built around the concept of social space. Social space from a network perspective is the space of social relations which enables us to take relations as the unit of analysis without making a priori definitions and categories of actors. Structure and composition of networks and patterns of relationships correspond to social space. Further, social space is a generated space which is defined during the process of analysis. The aim of this thesis is not to find causal relationships between variables, but to capture different contexts in the generated space of social relations. The attributes and behaviours of individuals will then be examined within different contexts. At the same time, the geographical units in which these relationships occur are evaluated. This kind of approach is not used in other studies which try to find linear associations between social networks and migrants’ attributes. This thesis will introduce such an approach, which derives its starting point from the concept of social space, and explores the social space of relationships of the migrants in Istanbul.

According to the results of the Correspondence Analysis that reveal the districts in which internal and international migrant groups concentrate, by reason of the high over-representation of international migrants who came from Macedonia, Albania and old Yugoslavian countries in the district of Bayrampasa; high over-representation of internal migrants who came from big metropolitan cities of Turkey, and slight over-representation of international migrants who came from Macedonia, Albania and Sandzak region in the district of Besiktas, the study areas are designated as Bayrampasa and Besiktas districts. In this thesis, the focus is on the international migrants who came from Macedonia and Sandzak region and who live in Bayrampasa and Besiktas, and internal migrants who came from the second biggest metropolitan city Ankara and its border city of Eskisehir and who live in Besiktas. These two districts are different from each other in terms of their geographical locations in the city, land use and social structures. The empirical analysis of this thesis consists of the combined use of Social Network Analysis, Multiple Correspondence Analysis and Hierarchical Cluster Analysis of a dataset which is obtained by 126 face-to-face personal network surveys including information about the migrants’ attributes, attributes of the persons (24 alters for each migrant) in their personal networks, and the relationships between migrants and the persons in their networks (3024 ties in total). The relationship between residential segregation and local and nonlocal composition and quality of the networks of migrants is explored by using the information on the locations of the alters in migrants’ networks.

According to the results, the community-saved and community-liberated arguments are both in effect for different migrants groups. Further, the networks with a high share of local (i.e. neighbourhood) ties are relatively resource-poor, while the networks with a low share of local ties are relatively resource-rich. The homophily principle is in effect for almost all migrants in that the high-educated migrants’ network members are also high educated, which renders their networks resource-rich, while the reverse is equally true. Although Bayrampasa is a district in which the migrants from Macedonia, Albania and Sandzak region highly concentrate, it is also demonstrated that the migrants from Ankara and Eskisehir (and to a lesser extent the migrants from Macedonia, Albania and Sandzak) are concentrated in Besiktas. However, the structure and composition of the networks of the migrants in these two districts are quite different from each other. Therefore, it is not a foregone conclusion to say that concentration of migrants in a neighbourhood or district hinders forming or maintaining ties with other groups, since there are many other factors in the complex world of relationships. Moreover, for all migrant groups, the metropolitan area bounds the field of interaction more than the neighbourhood does, in that almost all migrants have connections within the metropolitan city no matter whether their neighbourhood ties take more or less space within their networks.