On Sabır and Agency
AbstractThis article focuses on the pious practice of sabır (patience) within the context of the weaving neighborhoods in Konya, Turkey. Through an ethnographic analysis of the everyday politics of the practice of sabır , which is central to labor relations, this article adds to and complicates feminist analyses of labor politics and the economy by highlighting the interconnected nature of ethical religious practice and labor politics. Additionally, I argue for the need to go beyond the question of whether women have or lack agency as subjects in feminist analyses of labor politics and relationships, and instead point out the need for the empirical examination of specific, contextually-bound practical conditions through and within which women cultivate various forms of ethical action and subjectivities. In pointing out the importance of a project that analyzes operations of power with a keen awareness of context, this essay presents an ethnographically grounded discussion of pious practice within the context of Konya's weaving neighborhoods, underscoring the effects of the coexistence of exploitation and empowerment on the construction of women weavers' selfhoods.