Being Kurdish at a Turkish University Campus: A Spatial Approach to Belonging

Part of the Studies in Childhood and Youth book series (SCY)


The examination of the social construction of Turkish university campuses demonstrates that campus space is structured by state policies and institutions that construct and maintain differences among university students. This chapter uses a spatial perspective in examining Kurdish students’ belonging in a predominantly Turkish university. Campus is framed in the study as a space constructed within the specific historical and institutional context of the Turkish society. In and through campus space, inequality is produced and a sense of belonging becomes threatened for Kurdish students who are deemed possessing undesired differences. By asking how Kurdish students experience a discriminatory campus space, I aim to show that discourses and practices on the national level are integrated into the spaces of everyday campus life and become part of the everyday practices, emotions, meanings and contestations of Kurdish students. The chapter demonstrates that boundaries of belonging—who belongs and who does not—are enforced and policed through spatial practice of the privileged actors on a university campus. The chapter also aims to make evident that a spatial focus on belonging of university students helps unearth the subtle forms of exclusion, injustice, biases and inequality that permeate the university campuses.


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Mugla UniversityMuglaTurkey

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