Faith and Fashion in Turkey

Faith and Fashion in Turkey : Consumption, Politics and Islamic Identities

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Turkey has witnessed remarkable sociocultural change under the regime of Recep Tayyip Erdogan and his Justice and Development Party (AKP), particularly regarding its religious communities. As individuals with pious identities have increasingly gained access to state power and accumulated economic influence, so religious appearances and practices have become more visible in Turkey's `secular' public spaces. More than this, consumption practices have changed and new Islamic and Islamist identities have emerged.
This book investigates three of the most widespread faith-inspired communities in Turkey: the Gulen, Suleymanli and the Menzil. Nazli Alimen compares these communities, looking at their diverse interpretations of Islamic rules related to the body and dress, and how these different groups compete for power and control in Turkey. In tracing what motivates consumption practices, the book adds to the growing interest in the commercial aspects of modest and Islamic fashion. It also highlights the importance of clothing and bodily rituals (such as veiling, grooming and food choices) for the formation of community identities. Based on ethnographic research, Alimen analyses the relationship between the marketplace and religion, and shows how different communities interact with each other and state institutions. Of particular note are the varied expressions of Islamic masculinities and femininities at play. Appealing to a cross-disciplinary readership, the book will be relevant for scholars within Turkish Studies, Gender Studies, Islamic Studies, Fashion, Consumption Studies, Sociology of Religion and Middle Eastern Studies.
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Product details

  • Hardback | 336 pages
  • 138 x 216 x 30.48mm | 540g
  • New York, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 23 bw illus
  • 1788311663
  • 9781788311663
  • 1,731,498

Table of contents

Figures 4
Abbreviations 8
Glossary 10
Introduction 15
The Bourdieuan Framework of Field and Everyday Religion 18
The Body and Embodiment: Multiple Muslim Identities 24
Faith and Consumption 26
Spaces and Spatialities 30
Taking a Snapshot 32
Reaching Members, Holding Interviews 34
Outline of the Book 37
Chapter 1. Historical Context: Politics, Religion, Society, and the Communities 42
The Foundation and the Early Years of the Republic 42
The Return of the Restricted: Islam in Politics as Religious Populism 45
Political and Social Lives in the 1960s and 1970s 47
The 1980s and 1990s: Economic Liberalisation and its Socioeconomic Impacts 50
The AKP Rule: From 2002 to the present 53
The Communities 53
The Gulen Community 53
The Suleymanl? Community 59
The Menzil Community 61
Veiling Practices and the Headscarf Ban in Turkey 62
Conclusion 68
Chapter 2. Fields and Habitus: The Religious Field of Sunni Islam and the Community Fields 70
The Religious Field of Islam in Turkey: The Structure and Structural Openings 71
Islamic Rules of Dressing and Modesty: The Informants' References and Negotiations 75
Acquisition of Muslim and the Community Habitus: The Community Meetings and Worship 82
Being Raised with Community Habitus, Becoming one of the Community Personnel 90
Visual Clues to Community Identities 97
Strategic Changes and Different Levels within the Communities 103
Publicly Distinguishable Clues to Piety and Community Membership of Men 107
Conclusion 113
Chapter 3. Power and Politics: Interactions between Fields 116
Conflict and Conformity: Fields and Players 116
Religious Education and ?mam-Hatip Schools 118
Struggle over Authority and Activity within the Religious Field of Sunni Islam in Turkey 121
Field Relations: The Bureaucratic Field and Community Fields 125
The Community Fields: Mobility and Permeability 132
Faith in the Marketplace: The Gulen, Suleymanl?, and Menzil Communities 138
The Gulen Marketplace 139
The Suleymanl? Marketplace 147
The Menzil Marketplace 155
Conclusion 162
Chapter 4. The Body and Space: Gendered Understandings and Practices 167
Community Spaces and Spatial Practices 169
Being Veiled/Non-Veiled, Becoming Veiled: Experiences of Women 179
Masculinities and Femininities: In the Turkish Muslim Context and in the Faith-Inspired Communities 185
Visibilities and Invisibilities of 'Muslim' Women and Men: in the Turkish Context and Community Fields 193
Conclusion 204
Chapter 5. Fashion and Consumption 206
Religiously-Related Apparel 206
From Tesetturwear to the Modest Fashion Field 210
The Intersected and Intertwined: The Mainstream and the Modest Fashion Fields 217
Headcoverings: Habitus and Taste Regimes 221
Trends and Trendsetters of the Modest Fashion Field 229
Conclusion 240
Conclusion 246
Appendix 259
References 263
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About Nazli Alimen

Nazli Alimen is a research fellow at Helsinki University. She holds a PhD in Cultural Studies and Marketing from University of the Arts London. Her research interests include visual and material cultures, particularly fashion and dress, consumer culture, and fashion marketing. She has published in a variety of journals as well as writing a chapter for The Routledge International Handbook of Veils and Veiling Practices.
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