Lifting the Veil on Infidel Brands: Islamist Discourses of Anticonsumerism

Elif Izberk-Bilgin, University of Michigan-Dearborn, USA
This paper examines how political Islam as a contemporary resistance ideology materializes in the consumption realm in a developing country. Through a critical ethnography, the study investigates how Islamism motivates consumers’ defiant stances towards global brands and identifies three Islamist anticonsumptionist discourses that socio-historically construct the meaning of global brands as infidel brands. Through the discourses of modesty, helal-haram, and oppression Islamist consumers not only determine what constitutes infidel brands, but also seek a romanticized Islamic social order. The findings of this research compel us to re-examine existing accounts of consumer activism as a postmodern phenomenon with hedonic, aesthetic, and self-expressive motivations.
[ to cite ]:
Elif Izberk-Bilgin (2010) ,"Lifting the Veil on Infidel Brands: Islamist Discourses of Anticonsumerism", in NA - Advances in Consumer Research Volume 37, eds. Margaret C. Campbell, Jeff Inman, and Rik Pieters, Duluth, MN : Association for Consumer Research, Pages: 686-687 .