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Consumption manifesto of manisa gentry in a small town in Turkey: living room furniture preferences in Manisa

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2019
Demir, Günc
When we look at the general area of study in sociology in Turkey, much against the village stands out on our studies and urban studies. However, studies reflecting the unique dynamics and social structure of small towns are rare. Gentry has a decisive place in the social stratification of small town in particular due to its relative elite structure. The aim of our study is to conceptualize Manisa gentry, in terms of their social position in the social hierarchy and looking answers to the question whether they exist as a status group or not, despite generational change. In every part of Turkey, when asked about the gentry of that area, people mention certain names. These are generally well known families of a long-descent who have a decisive influence on the people of the region. In short, with its unique characteristics, the gentry have an important place in the social structure and consumption is an important tool to show their social positions. For this reason, we try to make a study on concepts such as consumption, lifestyle, taste and preferences. In our study, the distinguished gentry families are considered as upper class in the locality. In this sense, we tried to determine what kind of consumption preferences the gentry families prefer when differentiating themselves from others. The gentry families’ positions both in relation to “others” and within themselves will be analyzed by looking into consumption preferences and tastes which they use to decorate their living rooms.