Oyman Basaran

Assistant Professor of Sociology

Teaching this semester

GSWS 2380/SOC 2380. Gender in the Middle East

Explores the contemporary debates on the construction and organization of gender and sexuality in the Middle East. Provides a critical lens on the colonial and orientalist legacies that mediate the dominant representations and discourses on the region. Questions the normative assumptions behind “modernity,” “religion,” and “tradition” by covering a variety of issues including veiling, honor killings, female circumcision, and military masculinities. Examines the emergence of new femininities, masculinities, sexual identifications, and feminist and queer struggles in the Middle East.

SOC 2445. Sociology of Mental Health and Illness

Examines mental health and illness as both a set of subjective experiences and as embedded in social and cultural processes. Considers the causes and consequences of mental health problems and examines mental health and illness as objects of knowledge and intervention. Develops understanding of the ways social inequalities, power, and privilege shape understandings of mental health. Draws on classic and contemporary sociological theories to explore the complex relationships between psychiatrists’ professional accounts of mental illnesses and patients’ experience of them. Discusses patients’ role in healing through innovative non-psychiatric and non-individualized approaches toward mental health problems.

Teaching next semester

SOC 1101. Introduction to Sociology, A

The major perspectives of sociology. Application of the scientific method to sociological theory and to current social issues. Theories ranging from social determinism to free will are considered, including the work of Durkheim, Marx, Merton, Weber, and others. Attention is given to such concepts as role, status, society, culture, institution, personality, social organization, the dynamics of change, the social roots of behavior and attitudes, social control, deviance, socialization, and the dialectical relationship between individual and society.

SOC 2260. Capitalism, Modernity, and Religion in Turkey

Investigates classical and contemporary sociological accounts of secularism, modernity, and capitalism by examining the social and political history of Turkey. Analyzes the emergence of modern Turkey, a successor state of the Ottoman Empire, which spanned three continents and was dismantled at the end of World War I. Maps out Turkey's social, political, and economic landscape from the late 19th century until the present. Covers themes such as state violence, religion, hegemony, gender and sexuality, nationalism, and neoliberalism.

I study the sociology of medicine, gender & sexuality, and sociology of work. The regional focus of my work is the Middle East. My recent work examines the medicalization of male circumcision in Turkey.


  • B.A., Philosophy, Bogazici University
  • M.A, Sociology, Bogazici University
  • Ph.D., Sociology, University of Massachusetts; Amherst

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