Veiling in Style: How Does a Stigmatized Practice Become Fashionable?
Bilkent University - Faculty of Business Administration
Bilkent University - Management
November 17, 2009
Journal of Consumer Research, Forthcoming
Although stigma is prevalent in everyday life, consumer researchers’ interest on the topic remains scant and focuses mostly on stigma management. We move beyond individual coping strategies and examine the processes of stigmatization and destigmatization. Through an ethnographic study of fashion consumption practices of urban Turkish covered women, we explore how veiling, a deviant practice stigmatized in the secular and urban mindset, first became an attractive choice for some middle class women and then transformed into a fashionable and ordinary clothing practice for many. We map out the global multi-actored work that underlies the emergence of veiling as an attractive choice and explicate its gradual routinization and destigmatization. We discuss the findings in terms of their implications for understandings of choice and free will, the formative role of fashion in the evolution of a new habitus and social class, and the relationship between the market and religion.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 71
Keywords: Veil, Clothing, Fashion, Choice, Stigma, Deviant Consumer Behavior, Social Class, Religion, Routinization, Turkey, Ethnography
JEL Classification: M30, M31, M39
Date posted: November 18, 2009 ; Last revised: November 23, 2009