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Approaching non-western consumer cultures from a historical perspective: The case of early modern Ottoman consumer culture

Approaching non-western consumer cultures from a historical perspective: The case of early modern Ottoman consumer culture

Abstract

A very common but futile practice in scientific research investigating non-western consumer cultures and markets is the imposition of concepts that are derived from a single historical trajectory of western modernization. This paper aims to show that there are alternative historical trajectories in the early modern period which have formed today’s multiple modern consumer cultures. The particularities of the Ottoman context, which shaped the development of an alternative early modern consumer culture, are examined as an example. Islamic ethics, fluid social structure, wakf institutions, the negotiability of market institutions, and a public sphere formed by aesthetic, emotional, and playful communicative action are among the particularities discussed in this study.
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