The 4th Annual Conference on Eurasian Politics and Society, İstanbul, Turkey, 01 July 2017
THE NEW GHETTOS: CONCEPTS IN SOCIAL SCIENCES
Analyzing the development of social sciences in the Western thought, it is striking that these sciences have a value-laden characteristic in itself rather than being just factual studies. Philosophical roots of western originated social sciences should be examined, since social sciences of western origin go beyond studying the visible aspects of cases. Accordingly, it can be stated that terminological construction in social sciences constitutes the way of conveying the political (view) to the social (imagination). Identifying the concepts produced in political science, international relations, sociology, history and geography is the most appropriate way to trace back this construction.
Even though being value-based is inherent to the social sciences, a reading without considering this characteristic results in some misinterpretatitons. The terminological constructions which have been affecting whole Muslims living in various regions of the world demonstrate the leading aspect of the social sciences. Therefore, in this research, firstly, the historical background of some concepts and identifications (such as Islamophobia and Middle East) which are widely-used within the context of Islam and Muslims in the social sciences will be analyzed. Secondly, it will be exemplified that these constructed concepts result in intellectual occupations which are more effective than territorial occupations, and that by means of invisible borders, they limit the living space of Muslims, and so, they establish “conceptual ghettos”. Consequently, it will be presented that identifying the concepts about Islam, Islamic thought and Muslims in the Western social science studies is a cornerstone to inquire into the Western thoughts about Islam as a religion, thought or life style.