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Open Access research with a European policy impact...

The Strathprints institutional repository is a digital archive of University of Strathclyde's Open Access research outputs. Strathprints provides access to thousands of Open Access research papers by Strathclyde researchers, including by researchers from the European Policies Research Centre (EPRC).

EPRC is a leading institute in Europe for comparative research on public policy, with a particular focus on regional development policies. Spanning 30 European countries, EPRC research programmes have a strong emphasis on applied research and knowledge exchange, including the provision of policy advice to EU institutions and national and sub-national government authorities throughout Europe.

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Demystifying consumption culture in Islamic societies

Jafari, Aliakbar and Suerdem, Ahmet (2010) Demystifying consumption culture in Islamic societies. In: ACR Workshop on Enhancing the Status of Consumer Research in Non-Western Contexts, 2010-07-05 - 2010-07-06. (Unpublished)

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Abstract

In this conceptual paper, we examine the notion of consumption culture in Islamic societies. We expand on 'multiple Islams' and differentiate between institutionalised religion and religion as culture. We argue that like every religion, Islam has the potential to be used as an ideological tool to justify certain political objectives. This use of Islam had long encouraged its portrayal as a fanatic and hardcore legitimisation of oppressive regimes. This 'Orientalist' view depicted Islam as the absolute 'Other' of everything such as secularism, democracy and freedom Western values stood for. The aim of this paper is to contest the portrayal of Islam as a political system and demonstrate that in its cultural form religious symbols of Islam are in a constant interpretation process within everyday life activities. We argue that Islam as a religion is a transcendental activity such as art and philosophy that endows the individual with a noumenal consciousness tool for making sense of the phenomenal world of the everyday activities. This tool is a loosely structured symbols system that allows for a constant reinterpretation of everyday activities.