Fitness Consumption in Turkey: From a CCT Perspective

Ferhad Aksoy & Ali Dogan Karatas

Student thesis: Master thesis


Participating in fitness exercises is a worldwide phenomenon, which gathers consumers of different kinds in fitness centers in a search for reaching personal goals. These goals can differ in many ways. Some might want that muscular body that they always have dreamed of, while others just want to socialize or step out of a stressful everyday environment. This is also the reason for why many scholars have studied the fitness phenomenon in various ways. This master’s thesis’ main topic also relates to fitness by examining the Turkish fitness culture. With a theoretical emphasis on consumer culture theory (CCT), this paper’s purpose is to get insights into the experiences, feelings and thoughts etc. of what Turkish consumers have in regards to fitness and fitness clubs in Turkey. The thesis will use these insights as a starting point for a further assessment on how a no-frills fitness club concept (much like the Fresh Fitness concept in Denmark) could be adopted in the fitness scene in Istanbul. Throughout the thesis, we use a long range of theorists related to CCT. These include the likes of Featherstone, McCracken, Belk, Maffesoli, Cova, Elliot and Sassatelli amongst others. Furthermore, in order to make the paper more relatable to the market, prominent Turkish names in the field of CCT are also included. These include Sandikci, Izberk-Bilgin Üstüner amongst others. The above-mentioned theorists and their work have been categorized in 4 what. These include (1) Body culture including body ideals and the role of the mainstream media, (2) identity theories (3) the social aspect of fitness consumption, and (4) service dominant logic of marketing and value co-creation between consumers and producers. These 4 categories were used as reference points to an analysis of our primary study, which is centered around ethnographic inspired qualitative Interviews with local Turks in Istanbul about their experiences, thoughts and beliefs in regards to fitness consumption in Turkey. In close relation to this, a small-scale netnographic research was conducted, which primarily focused on understanding what the Turkish fitness consumers complain about in regards to their fitness consumption. Finally, backed up by the paper’s theoretical foundation and the analysis of the primary and the secondary studies, the thesis discusses how a no-frills fitness club concept could be adopted in the fitness scene in Istanbul.

EducationsMA in International Business Communication (Intercultural Marketing), (Graduate Programme) Final Thesis
Publication date2016
Number of pages139
SupervisorsFabian Csaba