Presenting... Sociologist Faime Alpagu

Migration Narratives

Migration shapes society: "In my research, I want to draw attention to the complexity of this phenomenon", says Faime Alpagu from the Vienna Doctoral School of Social Sciences. Watch the video to find out more about her research project.
© Benjamin Furtlehner

"My research objective is, on the one hand, to counter clichéd images of migration. On the other hand, by focusing on the biographies, I want to contribute to a comprehensive understanding of migration. By comparing different materials, I was able to identify which experiences are told, emphasised and also left out and what that means", Faime Alpagu from the Vienna Doctoral School of Social Sciences at the University of Vienna explains. 

Understanding the visible and invisible structure of society

Her research focuses on the perception and representation of migration by so-called guest workers from Turkey living in Austria. "For that purpose, I studied photographs as well as written and audio letters and I also conducted biographical narrative interviews. My aim was to examine similar and different experiences that my interview partners share, because it is very central to understanding the visible and invisible structure of society", Faime Alpagu says.

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The young scientist recently submitted her PhD thesis at the Vienna Doctoral School of Social Sciences and currently she is working on a proposal for a postdoc position. "In the future, I want to focus on the biographies but also on other forms of migration such as visual and auditive aspects", Alpagu says. For that she wants to take a closer look at movies, videos and audio letters of migration. "I want to reach larger audiences through different channels such as media", the Impact.Award Winner of 2021 explains.

"In my research, it has become very clear, that my interview partners and their children also want their stories to be visible and recognised in the Austrian society", Alpagu says. For that reason, the young scientist plans to create an exhibition based on her research.

Impact.Award 2022

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© Benjamin Furtlehner
© Benjamin Furtlehner
Faime Alpagu is a doctoral candidate at the Vienna Doctoral School of Social Sciences at the University of Vienna. Faime Alpagu studied Sociology in Istanbul and Vienna. Her PhD project "Migration Narratives Juxtaposed: A Sociological Analysis of Biographies, Photos and (Audio) Letters of 'Guest Workers' from Turkey living in Austria" focuses on photographs and (audio) letters sent by 'guest workers' to family members in Turkey between 1960 and 1989.