‘Here comes the (Turkish) bride’: American consumer culture and the Turkish bridal industry | Intellect Skip to content
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This ethnographic study seeks to position Turkish women within the lucrative global bridal industry, which is today heavily influenced by the style, aesthetics and consumer values of the American wedding. It will add to the existing literature by examining Turkish brides’ participation in transnational networks that promote the commodification of weddings in Turkey – a country where, for many, weddings were until quite recently low-budget affairs designed to maximize newlywed profits. We will explore how such networks establish and reinforce bridal rules and codes through wedding props such as gowns, cakes, jewellery, flatware, china and honeymoons. By unpacking the complexities, symbolism and meaning of the contemporary Turkish bride, we will move beyond simple binaries to examine how tradition and modernity overlap and intersect and how modernity is an intrinsic part of the evolution of traditional Turkish wedding practices. This study will also critique processes of (American) cultural assimilation and reveal how Turkish brides are negotiating western trends, influences and the ‘weddingindustrial complex’. Through lifestyle marketing and other industry practices, these networks are prescribing how Turkish women – regardless of their socioeconomic and ethnic backgrounds, educational and class status and cultural and religious beliefs – should perform the bridal role. Moreover, because of its ties to aesthetics, style and fashion, the lavish American-style wedding has also become the ultimate platform for the display of purchasing power in Turkey – a way to replicate the conspicuous consumption of the wealthier, leisured classes that, for many Turks, has become synonymous with modernity and elevated social status.


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  • Article Type: Other
Keywords: Turkey ; consumer culture ; bridal industry ; weddings ; United States ; modernity
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