The conclusion looks at how a study of middle-class domesticity in late Ottoman Beirut contributes to demystifying the idea of “Westernization.” It suggests that it would be more useful to think of Oriental and ifranji differences as internal opposites that structure each other and as part of the process of realizing the imagined realities of “Europe” and “the Orient.” Taste becomes part of this process of differentiation in as much as it is the material manifestation of difference. But even more importantly, taste is itself constitutive of that difference in the way it is constructed globally and in its ability to find its way into the most private of spaces. The chapter concludes by pointing out how a history of modernity understood in these terms can relate to contemporary debates and phenomena.
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