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A Nation of EmpireThe Ottoman Legacy of Turkish Modernity$
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Michael Meeker

Print publication date: 2002

Print ISBN-13: 9780520225268

Published to California Scholarship Online: May 2012

DOI: 10.1525/california/9780520225268.001.0001

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Clan-Society and Nation-State

(p.3) 1 Amnesia
A Nation of Empire

Michael E. Meeker

University of California Press

This chapter discusses the author's arrival in the Turkish district of Of, where he conducted the first part of his fieldwork during the 1960s, revealing that two major families in the district have been monopolizing the higher official positions for over a century and examining the public organizations present in the district. The author also considers the notion of a clan-society that is divided from the state system. Next, the chapter presents an ethnographic analysis of the two major families—the Selimoğlu and Muradoğlu families—in order to understand them as local social formations. This analysis is able to identify the missing features of these two families that would have marked them as a political system based on unilineal descent groups. The chapter also addresses the issue of the exact foundation of these social formations in terms of daily interpersonal interactions and association.

Keywords:   local elites, public organizations, clan-society, state system, local social formations, political system, unilineal descent groups, interpersonal interactions

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