Yabancı: An Autoethnography of Migration

Keywords: critical autoethnography, migration, positionality, insider/outsider research, Bourdieu, intercultural capital, Turkey


In this article, I examine my own experience—as a white, American woman, an experienced second language educator, and a novice scholar of forced migration—of becoming an immigrant to Turkey. Approached as a reflexive positionality statement in preparation for my dissertation research with Syrian refugees, I explore my shifting insider and outsider roles and how they inform the evolution of my research design and personal and professional identity. I draw on BOURDIEU's theory of capital and use vignettes from my first year in Turkey to illustrate everyday struggles to navigate interactions through perplexing layers of access and exclusion; to gain social, cultural, and linguistic capital; and, ultimately, to build a life in a new country. In this way, I seek to illuminate the experience of transnational adaptation and integration from the perspective of both a language teacher and learner and a migration scholar and migrant.


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Author Biography

Melissa Hauber-Özer, George Mason University

Melissa HAUBER-ÖZER is a PhD candidate in international education and research assistant in qualitative research methods in the Graduate School of Education, College of Education and Human Development, George Mason University in Fairfax, Virginia, USA and lives in Hatay, Turkey. Melissa' s background is in teaching English as a second/additional language and basic literacy to adult learners. She uses critical, participatory, and ethnographic research methods to understand the educational and integration experiences of immigrants and refugees.

How to Cite
Hauber-Özer, M. (2019). Yabancı: An Autoethnography of Migration. Forum Qualitative Sozialforschung / Forum: Qualitative Social Research, 20(3). https://doi.org/10.17169/fqs-20.3.3328