Mapping urban “mixing” and intercommunal relations in late Ottoman Jerusalem: A neighborhood study

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Although Ottoman cities long have been recognized as sites of significant ethnic and religious heterogeneity, very little scholarship exists that documents or analyzes patterns of residential sorting, be it segregation, the physical separation of groups from each other in the urban landscape, or its opposite, integration. GIS mapping of the Ottoman censuses of Jerusalem illuminates these urban patterns and reveals the importance of scale when considering this question. Even the most “integrated” neighborhood on the aggregate level reveals “segregated” zones of clustering and concentration at the smaller scales of quadrant, street, and building. At the same time, the proximity and exposure of residents to each other reveals how very porous boundaries were in the neighborhood. In order to understand how and why the city developed such a complex spatial pattern, qualitative sources like newspapers, memoirs, and court records are a necessary supplement to demographic records. This approach allows for a comprehensive outlining of the economic, legal, religious, and cultural factors and forces contributing to both segregation and integration in an Ottoman city. It also points to a multidisciplinary reconstruction of the social space of an historic neighborhood.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)133-169
Number of pages37
JournalComparative Studies in Society and History
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2021

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • History
  • Sociology and Political Science


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