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Researcher for Berlin: Meltem Acartürk, M.A.

Meltem Acartürk received her Master degree (Magister Artium) in Sociology, Psychology and European Ethnology from Bertolt Brecht University Augsburg, Germany, with a focus on Media- and Visual Sociology. She is currently writing her PhD in the Department of Sociology at the Goethe University Frankfurt. Her PhD work focuses on how Facebook is used as a tool for organizing social networks and relationships in connection with leisure activities in urban space.



WORKING TITLE: “Dance like Nobody is Tagging You:  The Influence of Online Social Networks on Public Socializing Practices in the Context of Post-Migrant Clubbing Practices in Berlin”

The extended presence of new media in private and public spheres leads to an increasing degree of change in interpersonal communication and relations. This dissertation explores how communication practices and socialities in public urban spaces are highly influenced by the (omni-) presence and consciousness of virtual public spaces, such as Facebook. By following young Turkish-German’s mediated communication practices in Berlin’s post-migrant clubbing scenes as an online and offline participant observer for a one year fieldwork period, I examine how being part of online social networks such as Facebook influences social interaction in face-to-face contexts.  For example, meeting a stranger in a club and building up familiarity has a different dynamic in light of online social networks. The question “What is your name?” has been transformed into “Are you on Facebook? What is your name there?”  Furthermore, the ubiquity of smart phones, netbooks and hot spots in cafés, bars and clubs throughout Berlin enable instant searches for and postings about individuals, while interacting with them in co-present face-to-face contexts.  The fundamental questions, then, are:  How does the possibility of being online anywhere influence social interaction in the public sphere, and simultaneously re-define what the public sphere is?  How does the fact that photos from ongoing interaction and behaviour can be posted online immediately influence the dynamics and perception of a night out?  To what extend is Facebook used as a tool for connecting and/or controlling people? How do public and private intersect, as co-present and virtual intersect?  And finally, how does the intertwining of online-offline knowledge and practices influence and change the concept of ‘strangers’?


Papers given


German Turkish Club Scenes in Berlin
Meltem Acartürk
Final Conference "New Post-Migrant Socialities. Rethinking Urban Leisure Publics in the Context of Diversity and Dominance"
Goethe University Frankfurt, Frankfurt am Main
January 24 - 26, 2013
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“Dance like nobody is tagging you” - the influence of online social networks on social interactions in urban public space
Meltem Acartürk
IAMCR 2011 conference: cities, creativity, connectivity, Istanbul, 13.-17.07.2011



Ethnic club cultures in Berlin
Meltem Acartürk
ESF Explanatory Workshop "Postmigrant Youth Scenes in Urban Europe", Goethe University Frankfurt, Frankfurt am Main, 01-04.07.2010

New media practices of (post-migrant) German-Turkish youth – the interpersonal space between “online” and “offline” life
Meltem Acartürk
Media Ethnography: Theory and Practice, Pappersbruket, Osby, 09.-11.06.2010