Female Labor, Merchant Capital, and Resilient Manufacturing: Rethinking Ottoman Armenian Communities through Labor and Business

In: Journal of the Economic and Social History of the Orient

Abstract

The present article is a study of the social history of textile production in the city of Yerznka (Erzincan) in East-Central Anatolia. It examines textile manufacturing as a site in which gender, class, and ethnicity interacted to form the basis of an Armenian community before the Genocide. It brings a fresh perspective to studies on the persistence of Ottoman textile production in the age of European industrial production by approaching the community as a nexus of production relations. It argues that extensive female labor and a hierarchically organized production system under the control of merchant-entrepreneurs were among the main factors in the endurance of the Ottoman production system into World War i. At the same time, the control of the production system by the merchant-entrepreneurs, who were also leaders of the local Armenian community, reproduced patriarchal communal ties.

  • b.o.a. (Başbakanlık Osmanlı Arşivi, Istanbul)

  • dh. id (Dahiliye, Irade)

  • dh. mkt (Dahiliye, Mektubi)

  • şd (Şura-yı Devlet)

  • Annuaire oriental du commerce (Constantinople/Istanbul)

  • Arew (Baku)

  • Arewelk′ (Constantinople/Istanbul)

  • Arewelyan Mamul (Smyrna/Izmir)

  • Azatamart (Constantinople/Istanbul)

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