An analysis of material consumption culture in the Muslim world

Aliakbar Jafari, Ahmet Suerdem

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In this paper, we examine the notion of material consumption culture in Islamic societies. We differentiate between institutionalized religion and religion as culture. We contest the orientalist portrayal of Islam as a fanatic ideology opposed to western modernity’s features of secularism, individualism and pluralism. With reference to the Qur’anic text, we discuss that such qualities are embedded with Islam. We do not interpret the Qur’an from a theological perspective; rather, we seek to demonstrate the possibilities of its multiple interpretations. We argue that, in their everyday life consumption practices, Muslims (re)interpret religious guidelines in different ways, and refer to Islam as a transcendental set of guidelines to make better sense of their cultural practices in different ways. We summarize our discussion by highlighting the importance of analysing the culture of consumption from the lens of insiders and offer directions for future research.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationIslam and Popular Culture
Subtitle of host publicationCritical Concepts in Sociology
EditorsAnna Piela
Place of PublicationLondon
Number of pages19
ISBN (Electronic)9781138681606
Publication statusPublished - 12 Jul 2017


  • consumption culture
  • Islam
  • marketing


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