Quest and Query. Interpreting a Biographical Interview with a Turkish Woman Laborer in Germany
Hülya, a young woman who came to Germany from Turkey at the age of 17 in pursuit of a better life looks back at the age of 31. In her biographical query she relates her experiences to a social commentary on the hard and inhuman conditions of contract labor. At the same time she is critical of the common sense notions that suffering and social problems are the main consequences of labor migration. In our analytical query of "doing biographical analysis" we discuss how we interpreted Hülya's narrative and commentary in socio-historical context and also in relation to the discourse on migration from Turkey. We looked for terms to analyze agency and suffering within biographical accounts without giving priority to either of them. Referring to the analysis of another case and to the concept of "twofold perspectivity" we describe how both suffering and also pursuing one's potential are negotiated in biographical quests and queries.
biographical analysis; relation between trajectory of suffering and agency; critique of common sense notions in qualitative-interpretive social research; women's labor migration from Turkey to Germany