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Situating Halal: Religiosity, identity and lifestyle in halal consumption in the UK and UAE

Miele, Mara ORCID:, Lever, John, Evans, Adrian and Fuseini, Awal 2023. Situating Halal: Religiosity, identity and lifestyle in halal consumption in the UK and UAE. Consumption and Society 10.1332/27528499Y2023D000000001
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In this paper we draw on a study of Muslim consumer perceptions and concerns about halal labels and certification practices in two affluent countries: the United Kingdom (UK) (where Muslims are a minority of the population) and United Arab Emirates (UAE) (where Muslims are the majority). The study looked at a stratified sample of 330 Muslim consumers in each country. Our analysis points to a growing demand for variety alongside increasing concern for the presence of food additives, GMOs, and alcohol in both cases. Expanding demands to label food and other commodities suitable for Muslims with information about quality and standards of production (Gauthier, 2021) are globalising trends, which Muslims everywhere engage with through ‘an Islamic lens – halal’ (Turaeva and Brose, 2020: 301). Our paper wants to address the gap in the literature that very little is known about how consumers perceive the halal concept regarding foodstuffs (see Demirci et al. 2016), and it argues that the expansion and segmentation of halal markets suggest that religious consumerism is affected by religious groups, but also by supply chain actors and that these markets cannot be controlled by religious authorities. Our research findings provide fresh insight into the existing understanding of religion and consumption, pointing to the geographical specificities of processes of politicization of halal consumption: the rise of new Muslim youth subcultures in the UK and the coexistence of growing processes of secularization with ‘halalization’ in the UAE.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Published Online
Status: In Press
Schools: Geography and Planning (GEOPL)
Publisher: Bristol University Press
ISSN: 2752-8499
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 4 September 2023
Date of Acceptance: 30 August 2023
Last Modified: 22 Nov 2023 22:33

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