The international LuxFaSS team will analyse the role which luxury played in the modernisation process of Europe in two principal strands. The first examines traditional society and luxury as a cultural habitus of power, while the second follows the modernisation process which resulted when luxury tastes developed within the process of "Europenization" and the appearance of the consumer society.
The project proposes an analysis of the cultural habitus of luxury through the two central elements of interior decor and clothing. Such an approach involves looking simultaneously at material goods and at cultural ideas, such as on luxury and Christian morality, on beauty, taste and refinement and the relation between female luxury and the social condition of women. From the economic point of view, South-Eastern Europe rewards analysis as the intersection of two "world economic systems", in Immanuel Wallerstein's terms. Originally located in the Ottoman world economic system, South-Eastern Europe became a periphery of the Western European system as this system rose to world supremacy. An extremely interesting aspect of such peripheral zones is the coincidentia oppositorum, principle, especially in evidence in cultural matters. However, other tendencies in the same field did not follow the same trend, offering an excellent subject for economic analysis, especially from the perspective of luxury goods. The project’s findings will help towards a better knowledge of changes in European society in its transition to modernity, and of similarities and differences between the various regions of Europe