A Panorama of Ottoman Modernity: Consumption Patterns in the 19th Century

Köseoğlu T.

Karamanoğlu Mehmetbey Üniversitesi Sosyal ve Ekonomik Araştırmalar Dergisi, vol.24, no.43, pp.1005-1017, 2022 (Peer-Reviewed Journal)


Social history opens new perspectives into understanding the Ottoman modernization process by focusing on different social actors rather than seeing the state as the only agent of the process. This approach rejects considering ordinary people in the Ottoman Empire as passive recipients of top-down modernization policies or reactionary forces against modernization. An important aspect of understanding the role of social actors in the modernization process is to reflect on their consumption practices, as consumption has become the widespread social and economic behavior for social differentiation in modern times. By focusing on the changes in clothing and fashion; media and advertisement; use of public spaces; leisure activities and charity; and cultural consumption in the 19th century Ottoman Empire, this paper argues that consumption practices of different social groups in the Ottoman Empire explains how they locate themselves within the general social structure against other social groups and the state.