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Civil-Servant Aspirants: Ottoman Social Mobility in the Second Half of the Nineteenth Century

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With the transition from a government led by the military-administrative ruling class to that managed by the civil-servant sector during the Tanzimat reforms, the socioeconomic nature of the Ottoman bureaucracy changed dramatically. Studies have tended to focus on the new civil servants educated in the rüşdiye (state secondary schools), but poor, unskilled Ottomans seeking to improve their socioeconomic status found the newly established Ottoman police a vehicle to social mobility. A job as a policeman was one of the few these men could qualify for, allowing them to earn a steady income and receive social benefits. Gradually, service in the police force entailed becoming part of an evolving civil-servant sector.

Affiliations: 1: Ben-Gurion University of the Negev Beer-ShevaIsrael


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