Collective Resource Mobilisation for Economic Survival within the Kurdish and Turkish Communities in London

Olgu Karan

Abstract

This paper proposes a new conceptual framework in understanding the dynamics within the Kurdish and Turkish (KT) owned firms in London by utilising Charles Tilly’s work concerning collective resource mobilisation. Drawing on 60 in-depth interviews with restaurant, off-licence, kebab-shop, coffee-shop, supermarket, wholesaler owners and various community organisations, the paper sheds light upon the questions of why and how the KT communities in London moved into, and are over represented and why Turkish Cypriots are absent in small business ownership. The re-search illustrates that members of the KT communities aligned in their interests to become small business owners after the demise of textile industry in the midst of 1990s in London. The interest alignment in small business ownership required activation of various forms of capital and transposition of social, cultural and economic capital into one another.

Keywords

Charles Tilly; collective resource mobilization; de-industrialisation; Kurdish; Turkish; shopkeepers; North London

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