Gendered reorganization in late Ottoman Beirut: the reciprocal influence of the domesticity discourse and the urban space

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Dokumentart: BookPart
Date: 2023-02
Source: Ben-Bassat, Yuval; Büssow, Johann: From the Household to the Wider World. Tübingen University Press, 2022
Language: English
Other Keywords: Beirut
urban space
gendered spaces
domesticity discourse
public space
private space
in-between spaces
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This chapter explores the relationship between women’s private lives and the evolving urban space in the late Ottoman Empire. Although numerous studies have fo- cused on either the public or the private/domestic sphere, there is scant research on the ways in which the discourse on domesticity and the expansion of the urban space impacted relationships between changes in the home and outside of it. Specifically, it examines how the gendered reorganization of the “modern” Arab home influenced the urban space and vice-versa. This reciprocal influence emerged in particular toward the end of the 19th cen- tury, when new urban spaces in Beirut such as department stores but also private balco- nies became loci where the private and the public, the domestic and the urban intersected. These “in-between spaces” gradually became both “feminine” and “masculine” thus forg- ing a larger place for women in the urban space.

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