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The Seed and Soil: Gender and Cosmology in Turkish Village society

This book is written by Carol Delaney and was published in 1991. The book is highly persuasive because of the highlighted problems focused by the author in the Turkish society. Since the author have spent almost three to four years in the pure Turkish society for conducting her original anthropological fieldwork therefore this book was composed with an excellent authenticity and the real view of the Turkish society. The most highlighted issue was gender while work and religion were discussed as the supporting problems caused because of the gender differences. Men are illustrate as the category who can sacrifice for the women as they are the most important species of the society. The people of turkey have considered women as the most precious asset as land. The author have chosen the writing style as metaphoric style which could be exemplified by the title of the book. Islam is the religion which is not observed very commonly in the Turkish regular practices but still the norms, moral values and ethics of the society are formed completely according to it. Islam have placed an aspect for women as caregivers only but not life givers at all. Furthermore, the main aim of the paper is to discuss the gender and importance of women along with Turkish cultural and religious influence on gender differences.

The author’s overall composition of the book could be considered as close to perfection. There are a number of things which would let the reader to consider it for the future use. One of the most enthralling entity about the book is its plot in which it is being composed. The structure of the book is highly appreciated in which its flow could be obliged. The author took an extra care of the presentation of the content. All the events are presented in the form of continuity. At the very start, the book explains everything from the scratch, which is highly helpful for developing the understanding of the reader. Later on the complexities are defined and they are connected with the main idea. Taking care of the imagination and building of the illustration of readers is highly difficult but the author in this book have proficiently took extra care of it. Even the naïve reader about the Turkish society can imagine properly about the kind of society and the hail of the characters.

After the discussion of the presentation, now comes religion. The author have very beautifully discussed Islam and resided the attention from culture to the religion in which she represented it as a valued religion with a number of good and highly energetic adventurous discussions. Islam is presented as a positively beautiful religion whose origins are explained as the seeds which were grown to a strong tree with very good and is highly perceptive. Every event is defined in one chapter and one event is composed of a number of small events connected to one another. The book presented the true explanation of the clear necessities of all the factors which existed in the society. These factors can be reality based or imaginary.

The highly persuasive point that could be found in the general overview of the book is that the religion, Islam is presented as a complete one without a single missing portion. Islam is the only religion which was widely spread in all parts of the world as well as faced highest levels of criticism than that of any other religion or topic. The hundreds of year’s long continuous criticism caused the building society with completely contrasting sentiments. The book have clarified the belief and faith of the Muslims as well as maintained their identity. These concepts highly attracted me and I was unable to put it down. Every sentence was complete and every concept have higher level of appeal to be accepted. I can personally admire the way of writing of Carol Delaney as she left no stone unturned to express her acquaintance about the religious concerns in the Turkish society. I have read a number of books related to this topic but her way of elucidation was creative and aligned to human nature.

The concept proliferation and procreation was also the vital character to deliberate about the book as it upheld the individuality of the book and separated from the other books related to the same subject. Miss Delaney have worked on the proliferation which are presented in the book with the help of many classifications of propagation. The village which is discussed in the book have expressed the procreation as a basic analog of human as a divine creation. Since the definitions are related to the origin of the religion and past of the society that’s why they could not be considered as same as the current society. An outnumbered discussions about procreation in the book makes it an investigating tool for the understanding of procreating from history. The book tried to express that procreation in the religion could not be considered as all about the sex but a holy action which is used against the concepts of sexual exploitation. There are many considerations of the ideas which made the overall book more exciting as well as at the same time more challenging for the readers in the society.

The writer have also called the reader’s considerations for understanding and evaluating the cultural practices of the Turkish people with respect to the welcoming of visitors which is considered as a way to promote the unity. Moreover, the Turkish weddings are also widely explained in the book with the addition of the relations among relatives, the societal values and beliefs which are existed in a peaceful way. There are some cultural issues which are discussed in the book for example water associated with the process of intercourse and a sense of obedience in the process of procreation. This idea is discussed in the chapter named as knowledge. Same as in the body of this chapter, this concern is presented in the form of lubrication item in the gender disparity. The female seed is not considered as valuable as the male one in a number of ways. The feminine seed is only considered for the fulfilling of purpose but is highly inconsiderable for the promotion of the movement or change in the society. This act shows that the women are much inferior to comparatively the men or masculine seed. The seeds are used by the author as a metaphor for the clarification of the concept of procreation as well as the significance of the deep and diverse analysis of gender. An apprentice reader could only understand the text as a focus on the gender problem and its relation to the society’s procreation features.

The relatives and friends chapter enlightened the concept of unity as well as the sharing in the Turkish village under consideration. Men use to visit one another for having discussions about the social, political and business matters in each other’s tearooms. In family time in which all members of family sit together to watch television and discuss matters of life which shows a sign of togetherness. One of the most exciting and amazing discussion in the book about the family is that they always respect the visitors. In the presence of the visitors, the family tone of discussing things changes and they formally treat everything. The women are highly encouraged to participate in the discussions. The other villages didn’t preferred the women’s interferences in the conversation as the men are supposed to discuss only about the serious matters. It can be observed from the book that the cultural aspect was highly unpolished as well as interestingly the Turkish residents highly prefer to practice it as discussed above.

It is highlighted in the book that the spouse relationship is highly social in the village. It collectively counted among different psychological concepts which included the husband and wife, display affections for each other, have a sound humor but also keeps a keen distance as well as strong companionship. It neither disturbs the relationship as it happens in the west nor it creates suffrage among the women and men collectively as it is observed in many parts of Asia and Africa. The society have a great tolerance and they don’t stop to show any emotion in front of them. The best example quoted in the book is of Ayse and Durmus. Both showed great affection and love in front of the public but they didn’t found any awkward response at all. The concept of companionship is highly practiced in the Turkish society as it is a way of gaining the strength courage and valor. The author have shared her experience of atching a documentary composd and released in 1970s which was clearly about Abrahim’s story. The end of the book was discussing the story of Ibrahim. As Ibrahim was asked by God to Kurban his son, Ismail. There a little negligence’s that is made by the author is that the Prophet Ismail’s mother is Hajer rather than Sarah so, it’s better not to build faith on the fictional books as the author should be considered as a human and mistakes can happen. In Turkish culture the men are supposed to do the Adak and the women are strictly not allowed to perform this activity.

The book is the perfect composition of the events that were observed in the past as well as are currently happening. With respect to the cultural belied the society is complete in all respects including the norms and ethics, gender, family, culture and religion. The book have simplified all the problems by identifying and explaining them in detail with the examples which the men and women both are facing currently in the society. The religious predispositions with respect to the issues faced and the treatment of the people from some religions shows the core aspects of procreation in the society. There are very tiny assumptions in the book about the atheism and Hinduism but Islam is considered as the universal religion which provided an insight on the overall society. Through this book, I have learned much about turkey in detail than from anywhere else. There are different villages which believe different kinds of traditional and personal accounts of procreation. Since he author have very good knowledge about the ethnography so the book was completed with very good ethnographical details about Turkey leading to the exciting encounters which are experienced by me while reading it.

I have a passion of learning about the culture for which I have selected the studying the Turkish traditions and culture, I must admire this book and its author for such a good composition. There are many aspects of life highlighted in the book which included the impact of Islam, themes of family, village life, traditional influence and social differences. After finishing the book I was used to read the book many times as it included some of the best and illustrative content according to the social spheres of morality. The best chapter which I liked the most was The Body of Knowledge. This chapter included all the aspects of life. Most of the discussion was interesting to the youth in the society and it is highly informative about the Turkish norms and society.

The author have managed to use clear and to the point explanations which helped the readers to overcome the distraction factor while reading the book. Mostly writers shy away and sensor the real discussion about gender and some related topics but this book have clarity in everything and no ambiguity found. Since gender is highly discussed in the start of the book so it was an example of the response of Turkish society against such international topics. I was appealed by the headings which were about the discussion of the in-depth knowledge of the society therefore it should be read by the current generation as well as afterwards.

The book included the real and detailed discussion of the problems in the society. Approximately all the different societal issues discussed in the book were a reflection about the personal as well as family lives. The book also have a very good choice of words which would be helpful in writing the careers extends the freedom of choice of words which presents the ideology which are intended to the society. The book have shown a society where the Muslims have a voice and value to the societal changes. That’s why it can be finalized that “The seed and soil: Gender and Cosmology in Turkish Village society” is a very good book and have included a number of insights about the detailed knowledge about the Turkish lifestyle and the norms practiced currently and in past.


Delaney, C. (1991). The seed and the soil: Gender and cosmology in Turkish village society (Vol. 11). Univ of California Press.



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