centre for social anthropology and computing

45 years in the turkish village

Paul Stirling

Turkish Villages 1949-94

In 1990, Paul Stirling was persuaded by Michael Fischer to set about publishing his longitudinal field work in two Turkish villages since 1949; his field notes, other research materials, and publications. His original field work lasted, with intermissions, from 1949 to 1952. He returned for a two week restudy in 1971, when he began to include data on the villages' labour emigrants in Turkey, Europe and Arabia. From 1972-1983 he visited Turkey many times, paying short visits to the villages whenever he could. In 1981-2, he acted as a Consultant, with Dr. Bryan Beeley, to the Open University and the BBC, in making three twenty five minute instructional films for undergraduates about labour migration, two centred on one of the villages. He was Visiting Professor at the Middle East Technical University in Ankara 1983-6, and in 1985-6, he made a full scale restudy (supported by the British ESRC) of the people and households of the same two villages, and their children and grandchildren, including emigrants.

Beside his own field notes up to 1994, the materials will include the notes of his wife Margaret (1949-52), and some of those of his main research collaborator, Dr. Emine Onaran Incirlioglu (1986-93), and of Turkish research assistants; selected photographs, his own and his collaborators; excerpts from the film shot in 1981-2, and some taped recordings from 1986. We also include all his published materials on Turkey ( See list under contents below).

In 1992, Michael Fischer obtained an ESRC grant to put all this material on a CD-Rom, later changed to WWW. What follows is only the beginning of this to date unique publishing project; final completion may take another two years. So far, not all the Stirling's notes have been typed in, and there is more to be done. Stirling is now indexing what is typed in with keywords, correcting errors, coding personal names, and adding notes and comments to make them comprehensible, and usable for teaching and future research; perhaps one day a restudy of the same families.. These tasks are much greater than expected.

One other task is the reorganisation of an existing database giving the histories, from 1950-1986, of over 3000[?] individuals and over 300[?] households, in order to make it 'user friendly', and to co-ordinate it with the field notes. We believe that this will be the most widely available set of anthropological fieldnotes to date, and we hope they will assist students and researchers alike. We own Prof. Stirling a debt of gratitude for his efforts on this project.

Provisional Contents of the Final Publication.

1. Introduction.
1.1 History of the research.
1.2 Methods and approaches
1.3 Personal and moral dilemmas.
2. Bibliography of printed materials in time order.
3 Field notes
3.1 Paul Stirling
3.2 Margaret Stirling
3.3 Emine Onaran Incirlioglu
3.4 Other Research Assistants
3.5 Some non directed joint Interviews, early 1986
3.6 Samples of data recording cards 1985-6
3.7. Samples of raw directed Interviews, summer 1986
4. Excerpts from:
4.1 Paul Stirling 's Diaries
4.2 Margaret Stirling's Diaries
4.3 [?]Excerpts from Paul and Margaret Stirling's letters home 49-52
5. Documents
5.1 Excerpts from and References to official and statistical sources.
5.2 Excerpts from Letters written by Villagers
5.3 Other documents
6. Data base, with instructions and explanations
7. Kinship information and diagrams
8. All printed published materials
9. Photographs
10. Recordings
11. Video

We are beginning with a copy of Stirling's book

Turkish Village,

the first volumes of his Fieldnotes

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