“Market Formation, Emotional Economy, and Politics: Kurdish Music Casettes”
by Prof. Dr. Güliz Ger & Dr. Alev P. Kuruoğlu
Bilkent University & Southern Denmark University
We will present the theoretical development of our published article titled “An emotional economy of mundane objects” and then, very briefly, Alev’s yet-unpublished article on market formation and politics, both of which were based on the same fieldwork. Our published article illuminates the affective potentialities of objects. We examine the circulation of Kurdish music cassettes in Turkey during the restrictive and strife-laden period of the 1970s, 1980s, and 1990s. We find that the practices comprising circulation – recording, hiding, playing, and exchanging cassettes – constituted tactical resistance and generated communal imaginaries. We illuminate the “emotional economy” that is animated by a mundane object: the cassette, through its circulation, becomes saturated with emotions, establishes shared emotional repertoires, and habituates individuals and collectives into common emotional dispositions. Cassettes thus play a part in shaping and reinforcing an emotional habitus that accompanies the emergence of a sense of “us,” the delineation of the “other,” and the relationship between the two. The article thus demonstrates the entwinement of materiality and emotions and how this entwinement generates emotional structures that shape and perpetuate the imagining of community as well as the enactment of resistance. We will end with the to-be-revised article which moves from the above pre-market dynamics to market formation.