Family and Kinship in London and Turkey: A Survey to put the Turkish-Speaking Alevi Faith Communities on the Map


Caroline, Umit and Celia with colleagues Derya Keskin and Yucel Demirer in Turkey, have been given a £10,000 British Academy Award to continue their research with the London Alevi Community.

This research will put the almost invisible yet vibrant, Turkish-speaking, Alevi faith community on the map to support their inclusion in the next UK census as a distinct ethnic group. Funding will be used for a survey to plot the settlement patterns, kinship networks, educational qualifications and experience, and labour market participation of the London-based community and our Turkish colleagues from Kocaeli University will conduct a comparative sample of their kin in Turkey.

Alevi patterns of settlement in London reflect where they came from in Turkey, carrying over kin networks from which specific forms of economic activity and social interaction flow. A comparative survey of their kin in Turkey will enable us to assess the interconnections and impact of migration from both ends. We suggest that this communal integration is central to production of specific forms of economic and social capital, at least for the first generation, and will identify the specific practices of adaptation and community engagement of the Alevis in London and Turkey. The survey also captures transformations across gender and generation.

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