Religious communities and the marketplace: learning and performing consumption in an Islamic network
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Sociopolitical analyses of religion evidence the increasing prominence of religious communities across the world. However, existing work on religion-consumption interaction focuses mostly on the personal effects of religion and examines how religion and religious ideologies influence individual decision making, choice, and purchase and shopping behaviors. In this study, we focus on the collective experiences of religion and unpack the multiple ways consumption shapes and is shaped by a communal religious ethos. Through an ethnographic study of a Turkish-based Islamic community, we show that consumption plays important roles in attracting individuals to the community, socializing them to the communal ethos, and drawing symbolic boundaries between the community members and outsiders. We also discuss how the communal religious ethos shapes consumption practices and brand relationships of members and influences the marketplace dynamics.