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Spaces for Consumption

Spaces for Consumption

  • Steven Miles - University of Brighton, UK, Manchester Metropolitan University, UK

September 2010 | 216 pages | SAGE Publications Ltd
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
  • 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
The Individualized City
Creating Cities
Consuming Culture
Architectures of Consumption
Shopping for Dreams
The Spectacular Mega-Event
Themed Parks
Conclusion: Spaces for Consumption; Places of Experience

a key text summarising a whole research agenda

Mr Richard Kotter
Dept of Geography, Northumbria University
June 27, 2013

Highly accessible and engaging text that is wide-ranging in scope and connects with a variety of themes and debates beyond consumption per so.

Mr Nick Sage
School of Social Studies, Northampton University
October 9, 2012

Excellent book - used across levels of critical theory for Interior Architecture and Design, Fashion and Product Design

Mr Shaun Borstrock
School of Art and Design, Hertfordshire University
September 27, 2012

This is an excellent book for developing a knowledge of theory and process. The chapter on Themed Parks is connected with branding but does not make a strong enough link to branding as discussed in Marketing literature. Hence, business students may not appreciate the value of this text.

More of a social science student cohort.

Dr Aaron Van Klyton
International Business and Economics, Greenwich University
July 5, 2012

Specific chapters will be useful for particular research options.

Dr Alex MacDonald
English, New College Nottingham
June 29, 2012

An analytical and erudite analysis of how a city can be commodified that then critically dissects this 'shaping' to reflect on how commodification impacts upon us as living beings.

Ms Therese Lewis
Faculty of Health, Social Work & Educ, Northumbria University
January 11, 2012

A really good theoretical insight into consumption and space.

Professor Daniel Briggs
School of Law, University of East London
October 27, 2011

I've adopted this text, but not for the class originally intended (Global Economic Dev.). I found it very useful in providing a strong and consistent, well supported argument on consumption that I found most relevant to my course on Global Cities--Los Angeles course. This is not really a book that can be assigned in pieces to a course, but rather, needs to be assigned in its entirety for its full impact.

Dr Ghada Masri
Global Studies, Marymount College
July 20, 2011

In-depth analysis of recent and current spatial transformations and their economic reconfigurations. Valuable as context and/or primary analytical tool.

Mr Eric Erbacher
Institut für Anglistik / Amerikanistik, Dresden University of Technology
March 25, 2011

The book offers a critical analysis of the space of cities, arguing that contemporary cities are ideologically consumeristic in character. Rich details on consumption in difference spaces are perceptive and informative. It is an enjoyable reading too.

Dr Miyoung Oh
Department of Sport, Sheffield Hallam University
February 15, 2011

Sample Materials & Chapters

Introduction: The City of Complicity

For instructors

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ISBN: 9781412946667
ISBN: 9781412946650

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