Turkey's Experience of Modern Consumer Culture

Turkey's Experience of Modern Consumer Culture

Elif Kıran
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-6120-0.ch012
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This chapter adresses the issue of consumption from a sociological perspective and focuses primarily on the emergence of consumer society in Turkey by making use of the historical data in the literature as well as of arguments of some prominent thinkers on the subject, such as Baudrillard, Simmel, and Veblen. Following this general point of view, the author goes further, delving into the significant points of modern consumer culture in Turkey. To this aim, the rise of consumer culture in the country and the unique role of mass media and of the places of consumption in the spreading of this new lifestyle are discussed.
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Turkey’s journey into the world of modern consumption has been an issue of interest for researchers from various disciplines. Sociology is a major study area among those in which the issue of consumption in Turkey is a recurrent concern, being addressed in several studies from different standpoints. As an example, Orçan’s study (2014) handles the issue as a long timeline and examines Turkish consumer culture experience from Ottoman period to the 21st century. Additionally, Sandıkçı and Ger published several works focusing on the birth and development of consumer society in Turkey. In one of their papers, the researchers studied the consumptionscape of Turkey in general (2002) and in another one, they grouped Turkish consumer practises in four main categories as Islamist, spectacularist, nationalist, and historical (2005). In addition to these studies, Başfırıncı (2011) and Zorlu (2003) focus on the emergence and development of modern consumer habits in Turkish society in their research and highlight the importance of the years starting with 1980 in this social transformation.

Key Terms in this Chapter

Symbolic Consumption: A consumption type in which consumers’ choices depend on the symbolic values of goods not their functional ones.

Social Interaction: A term referring to the daily relationships among individuals.

Consumer Culture: A form of culture which indicates to the emphasis on consumption.

Consumption: A term referring to possessing or using concrete or abstract things.

Consumer Society: A society which is ruled by consumer culture.

Mass Media: Media that addresses to the general public.

Conspicious Consumption: A kind of consumption which refers to the consuming of goods for the sake of showing off.

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