Feeling Labor: Commercial Divination and Commodified Intimacy in Turkey

Zeynep Kurtulus Korkman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


This article approaches commercial divination as a lens to examine the gendered contents and discontents of labor and intimacy in the neoliberal era. While coffee divinations have long been a feminized medium of socializing and caring in Turkey, they were recently transformed into a commodified service that recruits women, youth, and LGBTQ individuals as workers and consumers. In dialogue with scholarship on emotional and affective labors, I conceptualize divination as “feeling labor” that produces an affective intersubjective space for the incitement, experience, and articulation of emotions. The feeling labors of divination create commodified intimacies through which women, youth, and LGBTQ individuals explore their feelings. However, these intimacies are produced at the expense of devalued labors of those who are feminized along the heteropatriarchal hierarchies of gender, age, and sexual orientation. Attending to the gendered production and consumption of feeling labors and the intimacies they create are central to understanding the relationships between gender and labor in postindustrial capitalism.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)195-218
Number of pages24
JournalGender and Society
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 19 2015
Externally publishedYes


  • Turkey
  • affective labor
  • commodified intimacy
  • divination
  • emotional labor

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Gender Studies
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Sociology and Political Science


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