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.
Chapter 4: Consuming Culture
One of the key characteristics of the emergence of the entrepreneurial city as discussed in Chapter 3 has been an increasingly co-dependent and pragmatic relationship between the economy and culture to the extent that art and culture are an integral part of urban economic development (see Scott, 2000; Evans, 2001). In this context:
It is becoming more and more difficult to determine where the cultural economy begins and the rest of the capitalist economic order ends, for just as culture is increasingly subject to commodification, so one of the prevalent features of contemporary capitalism is its tendency to infuse an ever widening range of outputs with aesthetic and semiotic and above all symbolic, as opposed to material, content. (Scott, 2000: x)
For Lash and ...