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A Profile of the Labor Force in Early Nineteenth-Century Istanbul

Cengiz Kirli
International Labor and Working-Class History
No. 60 (Fall, 2001), pp. 125-140
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/27672742
Page Count: 16
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Since scans are not currently available to screen readers, please contact JSTOR User Support for access. We'll provide a PDF copy for your screen reader.
A Profile of the Labor Force in Early Nineteenth-Century Istanbul
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Abstract

This article attempts to offer a detailed profile of the labor force in early nineteenth-century Istanbul. The primary source upon which this study is based is the register of an original Ottoman survey, conducted in the Istanbul districts of the Bosphorus and the Golden Horn, where some 2,000 shops along with their work force of 6,000 people as well as 1,500 peddlers (working as, among other things, boatmen, fishermen, and water carriers) were listed in a comprehensive fashion. Through an examination of the register, this article seeks to illuminate the general characteristics of employment and shop sizes, the ethno-religious profile of the labor force, occupational patterns in connection with religious allegiances and migration networks, and the degree to which the military corps were involved in commercial activities. It also questions the supposed existence of an "ethnic division of labor" in labor market and commercial activities, and demonstrates the centrality of regional allegiances in occupational specializations.

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