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Social Engineering through Artefacts: Fezzes–Hats Conflict at Early Turkish Republic

Ozturan, Emrah ; Bagli, Humanur ;


Social engineering can be defined as influencing social behaviors on large scales for desired goals, which has been usually applied with political desires. As history witnessed, top-down decisions made for others, efforts for change that are not derived from individual demands have little chance to succeed in long term; while making decisions for others is what relates social engineering to design in descriptive way. Beyond carrying social engineering concept of political science to design scene and literature; this paper aims to find out characteristics of social engineering through artefacts, upon the historical case study of fezzes–western style hats conflict at early Turkish Republic. With young Turkish Republic’s main motivation of creating a secular, modern and westernized society by modernist approaches; at 1925, western style hats had been introduced to society, following a law setting their usage obligatory and banning the usage of fezzes and other Islamic referenced headgears of men. Headgears are thought to have dominant symbolic meanings when compared to their materiality or functionality. Therefore transformation of their meanings by political interventions is to offer a base on discussions related to politics over symbolism and objects. Upon this historical case study, this paper aims to discover the relations between dictation tools, behavior changing mechanisms and objects of our daily lives; in other words relationship between objects and authority.


Palavras-chave: design as politics, social engineering, political symbolism, hat law of 1925,


DOI: 10.5151/despro-icdhs2014-0081

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Como citar:

Ozturan, Emrah; Bagli, Humanur; "Social Engineering through Artefacts: Fezzes–Hats Conflict at Early Turkish Republic", p. 563-568 . In: Tradition, Transition, Tragectories: major or minor influences? [=ICDHS 2014 - 9th Conference of the International Committee for Design History and Design Studies]. São Paulo: Blucher, 2014.
ISSN 2318-6968, DOI 10.5151/despro-icdhs2014-0081

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