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Women's History and Ottoman Sharia Court Records: Shifting Perspectives in Social History

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This paper revisits some methodological and conceptual aspects of scholarly works on the social history of Middle Eastern women based on Ottoman court records that were published in the last three decades. It discusses the main approaches employed by historians in the field for analyzing court records, and the circumstances that shaped these patterns. It shows that, during the 1970s and 1980s, this body of scholarly works on women's history, as part of Middle Eastern social history, adhered to historiographical approaches that did not follow the "cultural turn" characterizing West European and North American historiography. This situation, however, has recently changed.

Affiliations: 1: Ben-Gurion University


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