Consumer Society and Religion in Turkey


European Sociological Association 11th Conference, Torino, Italy, 28 - 31 August 2013, pp.1436-1437

  • Publication Type: Conference Paper / Summary Text
  • City: Torino
  • Country: Italy
  • Page Numbers: pp.1436-1437


Turkey experienced fast economic
development in last decade. Its GNP per capita
increased from four thousand dollars in 2000
to ten thousand dollars in 2011. Because of
economic development, the establishment of
culture industry and influences of mass media,
Turkey has been becoming a consumer society
recently. In Istanbul, many shopping malls
have been opened in last decade. The use of
credit cards has exploded after 2000. All of
these are the symptoms of being a consumer
society. On the other hand, in the last decade,
Turkey has become more conservatives. AKP, a
conservative party, has been ruling Turkey
since 2002 and increased its vote as well. It
increased its vote from 34.2% percent of total
vote in 2002 to 49.8% percent of the total vote
in 2011, becoming the largest party in
parliament. Because of AKP’s policies and
globalization, a religious bourgeois has been
emerging in Turkey recently. Although they try
to live according religious codes, they want to
integrate to consumer culture as well. As a
result, religious values and norms are
changing such a way they fit consumer
cultures. One of the examples of
transformation of religious values in consumer
culture is fashion show of veiling. There are
many other examples which indicate the
complex relationships between consumer
culture and religious values. This paper will
examine this complex relationship in Turkey.
To understand this relationship, it will be
explored the connection between consumer
culture and secularization as well.