Big structures, social boundaries, and identity in Cyprus, 1400-1700
Title: Big structures, social boundaries, and identity in Cyprus, 1400-1700
Author: DEMETRIOU, Chares
Citation: American behavioral scientist, 2008, 51, 10, 1477-1497
This article examines the transformation of public identity among the Greek-speaking inhabitants of Cyprus during the late medieval period, when the island was ruled first under Western-style feudalism and then under Ottoman feudalism. This change of style of rule contributed to the transformation of the Greek speakers' public identity, from fragmented to collective. The explanation of this transformation in identity is based on an analysis of shifting social boundaries, themselves linked to changing sociopolitical structures. By comparing the Western and Ottoman periods, and by conceptualizing public identity in relation to boundaries, this study puts known accounts of Cypriot history under new light. The result is revealing when considering debates on Greek nationalism in Cyprus. Although many factors contributed to the genesis of that phenomenon of nationalism, the presence of a collective form of identity by the Greek speakers was a prerequisite. This prerequisite was absent during the Latin period.
Subject: National identity; Social norms; Identity; Nationalism; Ottoman Empire; Italy; Cyprus
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