From empire to democracy: Effects of social progress on turkish writers

GÜnseli Oral, James C. Kaufman, Janel D. Sexton

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


What is the effect of a society’s culture on the creative writers living there? Few cultures have had such a event as Ataturk’s 1920 revolution that changed Turkey from a monarchy ruled by sultans into a republic. How would such a dramatic shift in a country’s history be reflected in the accomplishments and characteristics of its writers? In this study, the authors investigated 948 eminent Turkish writers. Variables of gender, era, type of writing, education level, profession, and winning an award were all analyzed. The type of writing (fiction, poetry, plays, or nonfiction) and the era in which the writing was produced were both predictive of whether an author won a literary award. Before 1920, fiction writers received more awards than poets; after 1920, poets received more awards. In addition, professional writers were more likely to win awards than were professional politicians. Reasons for these findings are discussed with an emphasis on cultural and historical influences.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)223-232
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Psychology: Interdisciplinary and Applied
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jan 1 2004
Externally publishedYes


  • Creative writers
  • Creativity
  • Cross-cultural
  • Turkey

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Business, Management and Accounting (miscellaneous)
  • Education
  • General Psychology


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