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3 thoughts on “Redefining the Dominant Ideology

  1. nelson

    This therotical argument is insufficient to provide answers to the many problems of today’s Turkey. Is a country secular or not, is general education free from dogma and religious ideology or not, and are women treated equally or not ? There are no in between situations regarding these issues. Instead there are progressive positions or regressive positions regardsless of their origins being in the West or somewhere else. This sort of argument creates more problems than offering any real solutions to Turkey’s problems.

    1. Ali E. Erol

      There is a difference in saying “there are no women’s rights” and asking “what are the conditions in which women’s rights are abused?” While the first one might be more satisfactory, the second one actually interrogates the substance that sustains these kinds of problems. If you are looking for policy solutions, I, personally, do not believe that policies that are generated by the power structure can undo, or work against the power structure. If you are looking for solutions which prescribe what people/state should do, or how they should behave, to overcome these problems, I do not believe that a change in behavior or in social structure can precede changes in language.

      Also, I do not believe that a classification of “real” solutions vs. “unreal solutions” are that helpful. It will be impossible, truly impossible, to understand our problems and come up with solutions without deconstructing the origins of the discourses that spawned those injustices.

      Otherwise, it is very easy to make the same mistake of ever ruling party post-1950: Coming to power with promise of hope and change, and becoming the power itself, abusing the throne and every privilege that comes with it.

      That being said, if an essay tries to sell you that it has solutions and answers to, let alone every problem, but a lot of problems a country is facing, that is a good point to start being a sceptic. That sort of generalization, and expectation of a generalization, do have roots in positivist discourse.

      Also, the promise of a complete solution is problematic for similar reasons. Currently we are suffering from a promise of a complete solution. Such promise did cause a lot of pain and strife in different times/spaces and political systems.

      I do believe the best most of us can do is to identify a problem, argue why that is a problem, and explain what would be less problematic. There is no “solution” where there are absolutely zero problems. I do not believe in objectively “progressive” or “regressive” stances. However, if our voice can add to an understanding of reconciliation between these stances, I deem that as success.

      Also, would you please care to elaborate on why examining the origins of different discourses creates more problems? If the essay problematizes the concept of dominant ideology–which, by the way, was the point instead of secularism, dogma, and women’s rights–what sort of solutions does it not see in regards to what it problematizes? What could be a “real” solution, to use your language, for that particular problem? How it is that you do not see the discourses that surround the concept of dominant ideology as unproblematic? On what basis does the deconstruction of dichotomous discourses not help an understanding of reconciliation?

      Thank you.


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