I am currently a doctoral candidate at the State University of New York at Buffalo. My research areas include urban sociology, community development and gentrification, space and identity, and social mobility. My research examines the experiences of residents after the urban renewal process has occured. I investigate the positive and negative effects of urban renewal on local inhabitants, including their educational and employment mobility. In addition, I explore these effects based of residents age and gender cohorts and how these differences shape the responses and coping mechanisms with the urban renewal process.
My dissertation examines the experiences of 70 low-income women from two neighborhoods of Izmir, Turkey, who were relocated from squatter developments into modern, urban satellite communities. Using data from fieldwork observations and interviews with the residents and key informants, such as the principals of the high school and middle school and the director of education and cultural programs, I analyzed how residential relocation affects women’s social mobility – particularly with regards to occupational and educational attainment. While the residents of Uzundere who relocated from the same squatter development in the same year managed to have a neighborhood unity while the residents of Zubeyde Hanim who are from the various squatter development do not carry the same neighborhood unity as the residents of Uzundere. The housing background, and the diversity in housing tenure might shape the sense of community of the residents.
Urban and Rural Sociology
Urban and Community Redevelopment
Women and Poverty
Immigration and Migration
Housing and Social Stratification
Race and Ethnicity
Kural, Melis. S., "Lost (and Gained) in Transition: The Contradictions of Gentrification in Alacati, Turkey," in School of Management Review (SMR) Emerging Perspectives: Society and Academia, 2016.
Kural, Melis. S., "Revisiting Gentrification of Alacati," in American Sociological Association, Seattle, WA, August 22, 2016.
Kural, Melis. S., "The Labor Motivation of Rural Women in Newly Developed Urban Satellites: The Case of Izmir, Turkey," in Migration Workshop Harvard University, Boston, MA, October 1, 2015.
Kural, Melis. S., "Adult Social and Collective Activities in Zubeyde Hanim and Uzundere Urban Satellites," in Urban Redevelopment Session, American Sociological Association, Chicago, IL, August 24, 2015.
Kural, Melis. S., "They Make Profits and We Make Debts: The Aftermath of the Zubeyde Hanim Housing Project Development," in Urban Affairs Association, Miami, FL, April 10, 2015.
Kural, Melis. S., "How do Urban Transformation Projects Transform the Lives of Women: The Case of Izmir, Turkey," in Gentrification and Urban Redevelopment Session, Eastern Sociological Association, New York City, NY, February 26, 2015.
Poster Presentation, "Social Mobility of Low-income Women in New Urban Satellites Communities: The Case of Izmir, Turkey," in Urban Affairs Association, Miami, FL, April 10, 2015.
Presenter, "Comparison of Residential Well-being of Kurds Relocated from the Urban Core to Residential Satellites: The Case of Izmir, Turkey," in Eastern Sociological Association, New York, NY, February 26th, 2015.
Presenter, "Transformation of Low-income Settlements into Public Housing: A Case of Kadifekale," in Society of the Study of Social Problems, New York, NY, August 9th, 2013.
Presenter, "Lost (and Gained) in Transition: The Contradictions of Gentrification in Alacati-Turkey," in Society of the Study of Social Problems, Denver, CO, August 17th, 2012.
Presenter, "From Traditional Village to Tourist Hotspot: The Case of Alacati-Turkey," in XIII World Congress of Rural Sociology, Lisbon, Portugal, July 31st, 2012.
Presenter, "Understanding International Cultures: Turkey," in University at Buffalo, International Education Week, Buffalo, NY, November 2011.
Introduction to Sociology (Spring 2016)
Race and Ethnicity (Fall 2015)
Introduction to Sociology (Fall 2015, Spring 2016)
SOC211 Sociology of Diversity (Winter 2015, Winter 2014, Fall 2013)
SOC101 Introduction to Sociology (Summer 2013 online, Spring 2014)
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October 2016, Melis Su Kural