Walled: Divided Societies & Impact on Identity




Tuğberk, Suzan D.

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This research aims to understand how and if walls built during conflicts have an impact on identity. Walls are a common mechanism of conflict dating back in history, but serve varying purposes. Whatever the reason, walled societies undergo transformations not only during a wall’s existence, but after the wall is removed or opened, leaving residual damage. These transformations affect the identity structures and related areas of basic human needs and security that have changed over time. To better understand the impact on individuals and society at-large, a flexible research design employing symbolic interactionism, ethnographic studies and data collection through secondary sources will be used in a comparative case study. The Berlin Wall in Germany and the Green Line in Cyprus are the two cases chosen because of their similar and different identity qualities, as well as presenting a historical and contemporary context. Both examples utilize physical division barriers to provide specific functions, but have separationist side-effects. Overall, this thesis seeks to demonstrate that walled societies compromise and shift the identity, well-being and security of a person, group and/or nation.



Identity, Basic Human Needs, Walls, Berlin Wall, Structural Violence, Green Line (Cyprus)