Current literature on civic engagement and civil society in Turkey focus on historical change in civil society, problems within the field, experiences of staff at NGOs, the extent and depth of civic engagement and motivations for volunteering. This study, through situating volunteering and gender at the center of the research, aims to understand personal, political, and social consequences of engaging in activism and working with civil society organizations, specifically in gender NGOs, in Turkey. Central themes are how/if volunteers (re)construct their agencies in an NGO, what the organizational and cultural limitations are, and how they present their agency within the organizational culture. Most importantly, I aim to understand if volunteering experience or the organizational culture of their NGO alter/shape a volunteer’s understanding of their own self and agency, the capabilities and limitations of their own identity as a volunteer in an organization or an individual in the Turkish society.
Aslı Aygüneş received her B.A. in American Culture and Literature from Bilkent University and her M.A. in Women’s and Gender Studies from University of South Florida. Currently she is a doctoral candidate in Gender Studies PhD Program at Sabanci University. Her research interests are feminist organizing, activism, and transnational feminism. Her recent published work is: Aygüneş A., & Golombisky, K. (2020). “Shifting Subjectivities, Cultivating Safe Spaces: Mothers’ Perspectives on Women’s Virginity in Contemporary Turkey” Journal of Research on Women and Gender, 10(1), 23-42.