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A Taste for HomeThe Modern Middle Class in Ottoman Beirut$
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Toufoul Abou-Hodeib

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780804799799

Published to Stanford Scholarship Online: September 2017

DOI: 10.11126/stanford/9780804799799.001.0001

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The Global Intimacies of Taste

The Global Intimacies of Taste

(p.29) Chapter 2 The Global Intimacies of Taste
A Taste for Home

Toufoul Abou-Hodeib

Stanford University Press

This chapter investigates the concept of "taste" and how it challenged the divide between public and private, and between the interior and the exterior of a culture. The argument is elaborated on in relation to the global production of taste, the culture of class, the position of the middle class between tradition and modernity, and the quest for authenticity. Engaging postcolonial theory, Pierre Bourdieu's work on class, and recent literature on the middle class as a global phenomenon, the chapter argues that because it was globally produced and brought together local and industrialized labor in the production of domestic commodities, taste complicated attempts at grounding authenticity in the middle-class home. Even as it functioned as a mark of distinction in contemporary debates on class, taste linked the Beiruti middle-class home to its urban, imperial, and global contexts.

Keywords:   public and private, public sphere, postcolonial theory, Pierre Bourdieu, authenticity, class, gender, cultural difference, taste, globalization

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