Spaces for Consumption offers an in-depth and sophisticated analysis of the processes that underpin the commodification of the city and explains the physical manifestation of consumerism as a way of life. Engaging directly with the social, economic, and cultural processes that have resulted in our cities being defined through consumption this vibrant book clearly demonstrates the ways in which consumption has come to play a key role in the reinvention of the post-industrial city. The book provides a critical understanding of how consumption redefines the consumers' relationship to place using empirical examples and case studies to bring the issues to life. It discusses many of the key spaces and arenas in which this redefinition occurs including shopping, themed space, mega-events, and architecture.

Developing the notion of ‘contrived communality,’ Steven Miles outlines the ways in which consumption, alongside the emergence of an increasingly individualized society, constructs a new kind of relationship with the public realm. Clear, sophisticated, and dynamic, this book will be essential reading for students and researchers alike in sociology, human geography, architecture, planning, marketing, leisure and tourism, cultural studies, and urban studies.

Introduction: The City of Complicity

Introduction: The city of complicity

Our cities are what and where we consume. In essence, the city is in fact nothing more than a space for consumption in which we apparently express ourselves as citizens of a consumer society. Consumption lies at the ideological core of the contemporary city and, as such, consumption spaces lie at the very heart of what it means to be a citizen of the society in which we live. The contemporary city appears to be undergoing something of a transformation second only in scale to the onset of industrialisation. All around us are indications and representations of what has been labelled an ‘urban renaissance’, a period that promises good times ahead; times from which the city ...

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