Manners and identity in late seventeenth century Istanbul
Salgırlı, Saygın (2003) Manners and identity in late seventeenth century Istanbul. [Thesis]
The following is a thesis on how manners contributed to the construction and maintenance of a male, urbanite identity in late seventeenth century Istanbul. The main theme being that, the arguments are based upon and derived from two main theories or perspectives. These are, first the history of manners literature and secondly theories of identity construction and politics of identity. Within the latter group, a special emphasis is given to manhood and masculinity studies. The three main primary sources used are Meva 'Idü'n-Nefais Fi-Kava 'Idi'l-Mecalis by Gelibolulu Mustafa 'Ali, a seventeenth century "book of curses" (or beddua albümü) by a certain Hacı Ahmed, written in Yanya (Ioannina); and a second, but this time anonymous, book of curses from the Istanbul of late seventeenth century (Risale-i Garibe as published by Hayati Develi in 1998). The main argument posed is that from the seventeenth century onwards, the elite strata of Ottoman society experienced increasing penetrations from the newly rich classes and this led to the emergence of the book of curses genre as an aggressive and reactionary literature. Correspondingly, "admission" to the elite culture, and survival within it, depended upon compliance to proper manners. However, due to the changing nature of his elite culture, the concern of the books of curses expanded to include people from all walks of life, and therefore, when Risale-i Garibe is concerned, almost all of Istanbul.
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