Elisabetta Costa

Elisabetta Costa

Elisabetta Costa is a postdoctoral research fellow at the British Institute at Ankara. She is an anthropologist specialised in the study of media and digital media in Turkey and the Middle-East.

Location Ankara

Activity

  • Hi Sofia, thanks! Yes, generational differences are important!

  • Hi Martina, thanks for your question! The reason is that Mardin is unique in Turkey. I would have not been able to describe the population in Mardin without disclosing the the name of the town. In Turkey there are no other medium-sized towns inhabited by Kurds, Arabs, Christian Syriacs and Turks

  • Hi Nuzhat, thanks for your questions! You can find some of the answers in the book http://www.ucl.ac.uk/ucl-press/browse-books/social-media-in-southeast-turkey !!

  • Hi Rob and thanks for the question. Ethnographers usually go to the field-site on their own and try to find accommodation, friends, and generous local people willing to become friends and help. There are not infrastructures...The research is made possible thanks to the friendliness and availability of the locals!

  • Thanks Sergei for your important point! We can't predict the future. But it would interesting to go back to the same field-sites in few years, and see whether and how the situation has changed...

  • Hi Brian,
    I am not sure I understood you comment!

  • Hi Maaike, Thanks for your comment! I am also living in the Netherlands and I can say that there are different gender roles here too. For example, in the university where I am working at the moment only 16% of full professors are women. 84% are men. And the situation is similar in the rest of the country. I would say that also in Netherlands there are...

  • Hi Peter, Thanks !! I made the film. There is not script there. I hung around in the bazar with my camera, and asked questions to people randomly. I decided to include his contribution simply because I found it nice and funny, and it gives an idea of what boys look like in Mardin.

  • Hi Maaike,
    Thank you for your question. The reason is that Mardin is bigger than the other field-sites. It has a population of around 90000 inhabitants. So it's easier to keep the research participants anonymous....Anthropological research preserves participants' anonymity.
    Also, Mardin is a unique place in Turkey, because of its Christian Syriacs, Arab...

  • Hi Rebecca. Happy to know that the boy in the video made you smile!

  • Hi Marcus,

    The fieldwork took place in 2013 and 2014. In those years the peace process between the Turkish government and PKK was still alive, and the situation in the region different from now.

  • Thank you very much for all your interesting insights!

  • Hi ivy, it's great that you have learned a lot this week! Thanks for your feedback

  • Hi Michael, I am glad that you enjoyed this week! Thank you very much

  • You can find more about this topic in the book "Social Media in Southeast Turkey": https://www.ucl.ac.uk/ucl-press/browse-books/social-media-in-southeast-turkey

  • Many thanks Merve! I agree with you that in the "Western" world it is often assumed that the arranged marriage is necessarily coercive and imposed upon young people by their families. But the actual situation in most of the cases is quite different. In Mardin young people can happily get married with arranged marriage (görücü usulü evlilik)...

  • Thanks for your questions! People in Mardin speak two or three languages. I carried out my research in Turkish, which is spoken by everybody in the 'new city'. Young people, especially, use Turkish more than other languages; and people on social media use Turkish 99% of the time.

  • Thanks all for your comments! I did fieldwork in 2013 and 2014 when the "peace process" between the Turkish government and the PKK was still on. Since summer 2015 the situation has significantly changed. Unfortunately international media are not covering properly what is going on in the Kurdish region of Turkey. Turkish army and police have been destroying...

  • Thanks Noel! The issues you have mentioned are relevant, but are not the focus of our research. Other works cover these topics. We have rather preferred to investigate social media practices and their consequences in people's everyday life. I hope you will find this course interesting anyway !!

  • Hi Nkemjong,

    Thanks for your point. Some of our findings on gender and politics were common to most of our field-sites, and others were not...you can find a more detailed discussion about these topics in the two chapters on gender and politics in our collaborative book:...

  • Thanks! I am glad that you find these topics interesting

  • Hi Michael,

    Many thanks for your note. In my field-site in southeast Turkey people over 60 didn't use social media! This was the case of other field-sites too, but not all. For example in the English field-site people over 60 were massive social media users...
    So we didn't assume that old people do not use social media, but we simply looked at what people...

  • Hi Dawn, thank you for your comment. Yes, social media users are not always in control of the circulation of what they post. But my study in southeast Turkey shows that people do share content according to the people they want to include. They might risk serious repercussions (from family or State authorities) if some content is seen by the wrong people. I...

  • Thank you very much Mukta for these data. Our project shows that social media are private in different ways across different countries, social classes and genders...Quantitative data can be very useful, but become more interesting when are read along with qualitative/ethnographic material...

  • Many thanks Karan, this is a very important point. In my research in southeast Turkey https://www.ucl.ac.uk/ucl-press/browse-books/social-media-in-southeast-turkey , I worked mainly on Facebook and the different scalable socialities within Facebook. We will discuss this in week 3 !

  • Thank you very much Robin. You raise a very important point, but I don't think that it contradicts our concept of scalable sociality. In my ethnography in southeast Turkey people were afraid that their images could have been misused and circulated without approval. But in most cases this concern has not prevented them from crafting online spaces according to...

  • Many thanks Lynne. My research in southeast Turkey is about the impact of social media on "traditional" values...We will discuss this in week 3. Or you can also download my book here: https://www.ucl.ac.uk/ucl-press/browse-books/social-media-in-southeast-turkey

  • Hi Ben and Stephanie ! Many thanks for your comments. You are absolutely right...Woman is much more correct than girl. We'll try and correct it....

  • Thanks Andrew! This a very good point...Have you read this article By Wellman and Rainie: http://networked.pewinternet.org/2012/07/09/if-romeo-and-juliet-had-mobile-phones/ ?
    I don't agree entirely with the article, because it underestimates the problems that can come with the new emerging opportunities. As you have pointed out, tragedies and tensions might...

  • Many thanks Edgar. It's a very good point!

  • Many thanks for these comments! As anthropologist we describe what we see and we try not to judge if a social transformation is good or bad from our own point of view. We rather learn from what the people think about it...

  • Many thanks Shelli! I think that also in the so called "western world" we have women oppression, but it takes different forms. In Mardin traditions often give women wealth and happiness. I could see that the encounter with "modernity" has often put them in an even more difficult situation. For example those women who studied and had the opportunity to work...

  • Many thanks for your comment Bente! Yes, I am sure that in many places around the world young people use fake profiles to circumvent social norms. A comparison with a conservative Christian town would have been quite interesting

  • Many thanks Priya! I wouldn't call it disparity between reality and tradition...The point is that social change is contradictory, and "old" and "new" are simultaneously part of the social world

  • Hello! Thanks for your comment...Why do you think that self esteem will be lost?

  • Thanks Leslie...I think there are similarities across Middle Eastern countries indeed. I have been editing a special issue on digital intimacies in the Middle East and it was interesting to see analogies between the implications of digital media in Morocco, Yemen, Lebanon or southeast Turkey...

  • Many thanks for your comments...this is an important point. Many women do not spend a long time on their smartphones in public spaces. For example they do not chat on the phone at the bus station while they wait for the bus, or they do it discretely. Also at home they negotiate their use of the phone: for example they might use it when the father and older...

  • Hi Shan-Estelle,
    I would say that it comes from a patriarchal social organisation where women mainly inhabit private spaces and have a limited presence in public. Religion itself does not explain it. (In many Christian contexts the situation could be pretty similar. For example my grandmother from Sicily, in south Italy, before getting married could not...

  • Hi Sheila, Thanks. I think that tradition and modernity are not contradictory and exclusive, and tecnhology might facilitate both...For example social media in Mardin have facilitated at the same time both tradition and modernity!

  • Hi ! In Mardin the young population speak Turkish most of the time in public spaces (Kurdish was banned for many years and many people in their 20s or 30s don't know it well)...Arabic and Kurdish are spoken in the house, but with significant differences between families, generations and social classes. In some houses people speak Kurdish or Arabic, in others...

  • Hi Rebecca! Thanks, I am happy to know that the course is providing useful analytical tools to understand what happens on your social media...

  • Many thanks Virginia and Ebru! Yes, people in Mardin use Turkish on Facebook; Whereas they might use either Arabic or Kurdish for more private and family-based conversations...

  • Many thanks for your comments! You are right. In 4 minutes video we can't show the diversity and the plurality of the people that inhabit a city of almost 90000 inhabitants. As Ian said, in the book I described everything in more details. But on the other hand, the video can show us something that can't be described in a text. And these are faces, voices, and...

  • Hi Mohamed. I did ethnography in southeast Turkey in 2013 and 2014 when the peace process between the Turkish State and PKK was underway. At that time this was not a dangerous area. For more about social media and politics in southeast Turkey you can read my book: https://www.ucl.ac.uk/ucl-press/browse-books/social-media-in-southeast-turkey .You can download...

  • Many thanks Peter! Also in industrial China online gender roles and relations were less conservative than offline...Could you give us some example from your experience?

  • Thank you very much! I am happy to hear that...

  • Thanks for your comment Trevor! I think that the "spiral of silence" is quite useful to understand political behaviour on social media, even after fourty years

  • Barbara and Eva, the chapter on politics in our comparative book https://www.ucl.ac.uk/ucl-press/browse-books/how-world-changed-social-media is about the relation on-line / off-line, and about everyday politics !

  • Hi Barbara....During my fieldwork there were not explosions in Ankara or Istanbul. In 2013 and 2014 ISIS was not so powerful, and the peace process between the Turkish State and the PKK was still underway....you can have a look at my book for a more detailed discussion of the political implication of social media in that historical moment in that town:...

  • Many thanks Alette. You have raised an important point: social media have facilitated transnational flows of discouses and values...

  • Many thanks Qais! Yes, social media played undoubtedly an important role in many protests around the world...But in our research we have rather focused on the uses of social media in the daily life, when no protests and no particular big events happen...

  • you might want to have a look at the book: https://www.ucl.ac.uk/ucl-press/browse-books/social-media-in-southeast-turkey The chapter on politics deals about this issue

  • Hi Qais! Many thanks. We would really appreciate any examples from Iraq, where it's impossible now for foreign scholars to do research.

  • Many thanks Mariana for your link...In the chapter on "gender" in our comparative book https://www.ucl.ac.uk/ucl-press/browse-books/how-world-changed-social-media, we have introduced the findings from our Brazilian fieldsite...

  • Many thanks Sridivya! In our research we have not taken for granted what "public sphere" or "private" means. We have rather showed that social media can be very public, and at the same time create a space that is quite different from what is commonly assumed to be a "public sphere", (e.g. in the sense given by Habermas)...This week is all about differences...

  • Thanks Linda... I would say that this is a clear example of scalable sociality. You have chosen the degree of privacy and the number of people you want to communicate with!

  • Many thanks for your interesting point Marj !

  • Many thanks Eva...Next week we will also discuss politics in relation to social media!

  • Many thanks Alexandra! Your point is very interesting. On week 5 we will discuss social media in relation to social mobility and inequality...I hope you will find useful insights

  • Hi Johnnie, thank you very much for this link. It's interesting to see that our research has showed completely different results...

  • Many thanks Joshua!
    The definition of scalable sociality is also applicable to a single platform. The infograph only shows the uses of social media by English teen-agers. In my field site in southeast Turkey, for example, people create smaller and larger groups within the same platform of Facebook. We will explain this more in week 3!

  • Thank you very much Ella! Your comment is very intersting... On week 3 we will discuss the impact of social media on politics, and you will see that we have very similar results

  • Hi, Hannah. Many thanks for your interesting insight about the mutuality of the relationship on Facebook...The infograph is about the uses of social media by English teen-agers. So we expect that different people use these same platforms in different ways.

  • Many thanks for your comment Linda! Do you mean that you have different groups on Facebook, or that you communicate with all your friends in the same online space?

  • Many thanks for your comment Sadaf! You are right to point out that boundaries between different online spaces are often blurred. But I would also keep in mind that people on the same platform can create different groups. On Facebook, for example, the general public can be similar to that of Instagram. But on the same Facebook account a person can create...

  • Hi Nathalia, thanks for your comment! I agree that ads are an important component of social media, and they might influence our consumer choices. But interestingly we also found out that social media have fostered small-scale enterprise, more than large scale commerce. You can have a look at the chapter on work and commerce in our comparative book:...

  • Thanks Sion! Yes, social media has definitely changed the world. But in this course we will show that it has changed it in many different ways...

  • Hi Polyanna! Yes, "How the world changed social media" is also the title of our comparative book: https://www.ucl.ac.uk/ucl-press/browse-books/how-world-changed-social-media