Karasu, Mehmet, & Melek Göregenli (2016, November). Ermeni Meselesinde Öznelliğin Açığa Çıkarılması: Bir Q Yöntemi Çalışması [Revealing subjectivity in the Armenian question: A Q method study]. Read at the First Social Psychology Congress, Başkent Üniversitesi, Ankara.

Abstract: The roots of tense relations between Turkey and Armenia extend to the last period of the Ottoman State. The process continued with silence, acts of violence and struggle for normalization until daylight. Relations shaped around the Armenian issue are often handled in terms of disciplines of history, international relations and political science. However, studies on this subject in the field of psychology are virtually absent. The aim of this study is to examine the perceptions and evaluations of Turkey-Armenia relations in the Armenian issue in terms of the Q methodology, Intractable Conflicts Theory (Bar-Tal, 2007) and Social Identity Theory (Tajfel & Turner, 1979; Reicher, Haslam & Rath, 2008). The Q methodology is used to examine the similarities and differences between individuals on any subject on the basis of individual perspectives (Brown 1980; Watts & Stenner 2005). The Q methodology is also a convenient way to learn socially shared views of a phenomenon. Accordingly, this study is carried out with 45 academic staffs and university students from different ideological and religious views using 41 idea cards prepared about the Armenian issue. Participants sorted these idea cards from “most agreed” to “most disagreed”. A structured and comprehensive frame analysis is needed to systematically explain the views on the Armenian issue in the preparation of idea cards. In this direction, the idea cards are prepared in three categories by transforming the frame analysis proposed by Entman (1993) into four categories according to the purposes of the research, including the following themes: a) "Definitions and causes of Armenian issue", b) "Moral judgments concerning the Armenian issue", and c) "Suggestions of solutions and barriers to solution of the Armenian issue". The data obtained from the applications are analyzed with the PQMethod 2.35 program. According to the results, three factors representing different aspects of the Armenian issue are defined: 1. "Armenian Issue as Genocide and Responsible Turkey" 2. "Armenian Issue as Mutual Sufferings and the Externalization of Responsibility" 3. "Armenian Issue as the Rejection of Genocide and Official Narrative". It is also examined in this study that both the participant’s consensus and distinguishing expressions. Accordingly, the participants agreed on expressions of helping to solve the Armenian issue on the basis of cooperation and common sense; however, participants are divided into expressions containing politicalized moral evaluations and suggestions of solution about the Armenian issue. The results are discussed based on the socio-demographic characteristics of the participants within the framework of the literatures on intractable conflicts, social identity and conflict resolutions.

Mehmet Karasu <karasumehmet> is a member of the Faculty of Letters, Department of Psychology, Van Yüzüncü Yıl University, Zeve Campus, Tusba/Van, Turkey.

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