Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to investigate and compare the meanings, rituals, and the celebration context related to Holy Feasts and New Year, to determine consumption patterns of female consumers during these occasions and compare the results for urban and rural areas. Design/methodology/approach – A qualitative research technique was followed and in‐depth interviews were chosen as data‐collection method. A total of 60 in‐depth interviews were held with females in urban and rural areas of Turkey and the respondents were selected according to Family Life Cycle (FLC) categories. Data were analyzed through content analysis. Findings – The findings indicate that six meanings were associated with Holy Feasts and New Year. All meanings except for those which are neutral or negative are more intensely observed for Holy Feasts. Besides, rigidly ritualized Holy Feast celebrations were observed in rural areas whereas these consumers do not have deep inspirations to celebrate New Year. Urban consumers display westernized rituals specifically for New Year and it is also seen that consumption patterns differ for urban and rural consumers. Research limitations/implications – The generalization of findings is limited to the selected urban and rural areas. The second limitation lies in the fact that this exploratory study also makes a preliminary attempt to develop a deeper understanding for only two specific occasions. Practical implications – The study has significant implications as to how the investigation of transformation and reinterpretation of meanings, rituals and consumption patterns offers an opportunity to identify the marketing strategies without disregarding the differences and similarities between urban and rural areas in the case of sacred and non‐sacred occasions which may also be a reference to analyze the secular‐religious tensions. Originality/value – Assessing the changing natures of both sacred and Christian oriented non‐sacred occasions in Turkey as a hybrid society, emphasizing the similarities and differences in urban and rural areas and generating suggestions for marketing practitioners by analyzing the consumption tendencies constitute the originality of this study.
Journal of Islamic Marketing – Emerald Publishing
Published: Mar 22, 2013
Keywords: Muslim consumer; Meaning; Ritual; Consumption pattern; Holy Feast; New Year; Consumer behaviour; Turkey