"In Spaces for Consumption Steven Miles develops a penetrating critique of a key shift characterising the contemporary city. Theoretically informed, the other strength of the volume lies in the wealth of examples that are drawn upon to show how cities are becoming spaces for consumption, which has itself rapidly become a global phenomenon." (Ronan Paddison, University of Glasgow). "This is a great book. Powerfully written and lucid, it provides a thorough introduction to concepts of consumption as they relate to the spaces of cities. The spaces themselves - the airports, the shopping malls, the museums and cultural quarters - are analysed in marvellous detail, and with a keen sense of historical precedent. And, refreshingly, Miles doesn't simply dismiss cultures of consumption out of hand, but shows how as consumers we are complicit in, and help define those cultures. His book makes a major contribution to our understanding of contemporary cities, but is accessible enough to appeal to any reader with an interest in this important area." (Richard Williams, Edinburgh University).
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 re-invention 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.
Publisher: SAGE Publications Ltd