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Rise of the Bourgeoisie, Demise of EmpireOttoman Westernization and Social Change$
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Fatma Müge Göçek

Print publication date: 1996

Print ISBN-13: 9780195099256

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195099256.001.0001

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Ottoman Structure, Social Groups, and Westernization

Ottoman Structure, Social Groups, and Westernization

(p.20) 1 Ottoman Structure, Social Groups, and Westernization
Rise of the Bourgeoisie, Demise of Empire

Fatma Müge Göçek

Oxford University Press

The sultan's household is the basic organizational unit of the Ottoman society. This household—comprising kin, retainers, and servants—goes beyond formal institutional and class boundaries, and symbolically resides under one roof. Empire officials imitated the sultan's household and formed their own households, through which, in alliance with the sultan's subjects, they kept the sultan's revenues away from him. The sultan's household and the official's household competed with each other as both tried to mobilize subjects to rally to their side. While this pattern continued, the chapter argues that the Ottoman Westernization was evident in the consumption of Western goods and the adoption of Western forms in arts and architecture. The goods and forms spread into Ottoman society through the mediation of Ottoman social groups and became a part of the social tradition as Ottoman art, architecture and material culture reproduced them within the empire.

Keywords:   household, society, Westernization, goods, arts, architecture, culture

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