Cellular telephony in Turkey: A technology of self-produced modernity

2017-06-08T12:48:40Z (GMT) by Burce Celik
This article explores the collective attachment to cellphones in Turkey by focusing on the dynamic relationship between the cellphone as a containing technology of modernity, and its non-elite users who are in search of a safe shelter for their hybrid identities. By taking a close look at the practices whereby the cell phone and its users reciprocally affect each other to produce experiences of the modern in negotiation with the local fabric, this article suggests that being with cellphones in Turkey means being with modernity in novel ways. These ways involve the experience and imagination of departure from the historical and collective melancholia that is dissociable from the historical elitist vision of modernity. Using data largely from fieldwork, this study explores how the cellphone has been integrated into the collective struggle to generate lived practices of modernity as a societal self-production which would take bodies away from historical and collective melancholia.