Moufahim M (2016) Authenticity, Religious Identity and Consumption: a Reflexive (Auto)Ethnographic Account. In: Jafari A & Sandicki O (eds.) Islam, Marketing and Consumption: Critical Perspectives on the Intersections. Routledge ed. Routledge Critical Marketing. London: Routledge, pp. 173-193. https://www.routledge.com/Islam-Marketing-and-Consumption-Critical-Perspectives-on-the-Intersections/Jafari-Sandikci/p/book/9780415746946
Concerns about epistemology and methodology should be central to critical inquiries into the intersection between Islam, marketing and consumption. In this chapter, I address epistemological and methodological questions in relation to an ethnographic study I conducted in January 2012. This chapter explores issues that critical marketing may have overlooked due to a lack of familiarity with Muslim socio-cultural contexts. I also discuss topics that lie at the intersection of religion, identity, gender and consumption within the context of a Muslim pilgrimage. The purpose of studying consumption during a pilgrimage is to broaden our understanding of religious material, culture and consumption. The sacred sites of pilgrimages are often important commercial centres featuring vibrant marketplaces, where spiritual goods and services are sold (Scott and Maclaran, 2012). As such, pilgrimages and pilgrims’ consumption behaviours can provide rich sites of inquiry into symbolic, spiritual and material consumption. A plethora of studies on religion as a component of identity have already examined the role of objects and consumption practices in constructing and communicating religious identities (Sandıkcı and Ger, 2010; Mehta and Belk, 1991; Wattasunawan and Elliott, 1999; Karataş and Sandıkcı, 2013).