Everyday gendered performances at home: Masculine domesticity?

Elsevier, Social Sciences & Humanities Open, Volume 3, Issue 1, 2021, 100112
Hande Eslen-Ziya, Güler Okman Fişek, Hale Bolak Boratav

This article explores how men living in Istanbul talk about the sociality of house and care work – vacuuming the house, cooking, doing the laundry – in their everyday lives. It shows how these tasks are crucial for understanding contemporary Turkish men and how they are intertwined with notions of masculinity. This research is part of a larger study conducted between 2008 and 2010 across Turkey exploring the negotiation of masculine subjectivities by married men. Overall, the men’s narratives indicated a relationship in transition with both their children and their wives, where dilemmas and contradictions were presented with the emerging modernist discourse of egalitarianism (Boratav, Fişek, Eslen-Ziya 2017 and 2014). In this paper, such dilemmas reflected in the egalitarianism discourse between the genders are studied in relation to the division of labour within the household. While the data were collected before the COVID-19 pandemic, we believe that the existing trends in so-called ordinary days will enable us to understand the extent to which gender roles are either challenged or re-constructed at home during extraordinary times.