Liquid identities: Mecca Cola versus Coca-Cola

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15 Scopus citations


The Mecca Cola drink combines in its brand name two contrasting iconic images: one signifies 'authenticity', whereas the other signifies a 'commodity'. The conspicuous juxtaposition of 'Mecca' and 'Cola' and their hyphenization evokes the question: what is becoming of 'authenticity' in a thoroughly commodified world society? This article proposes that a distinction ought to be drawn between the effects of commodification on two distinct levels: the structural and symbolic. Whereas commodification homogenizes structurally, it heterogenizes symbolically. This article maintains that while symbolically Mecca Cola is antagonistic to Coca-Cola, structurally it is a case of an appropriation of the former by the latter. Mecca Cola thus attests to a structural 'Cola-ization' accompanied by a symbolic 'Mecca-ization' of current world cultures.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)465-484
Number of pages20
JournalEuropean Journal of Cultural Studies
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1 Nov 2007


  • Americanization
  • Authenticity
  • Coca-Cola
  • Commodification
  • Consumption
  • Globalization
  • Material culture
  • Mecca Cola
  • Muslim culture

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cultural Studies
  • Education
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)


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