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Spaces for Consumption

Spaces for Consumption

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

October 2010 | 216 pages | SAGE Publications Ltd

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
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

Useful background reading for students focusing on consumption for their essay or main research project topic.

Dr Peter Oakley
Gold/Silversmithing,Metalwork&Jeweller, Royal College of Art
November 15, 2016

Clear and current examination of the main issues around consumption spaces. Useful support for case study discussions with students

Dr Peter Oakley
School of Material, Royal College of Art
November 20, 2015

This is a fantastic resource on the city. Miles goes beyond looking at the pervasive nature of consumption that has, in the past few decades, succeeded in reshaping the contemporary city and its architecture, and looks at how it produces new ontologies and realities.

The book comes alive when the epiphenomena of consumption take centre stage: the emergence of the curated city offering experience and spectacle as a form of commodity; as well as the rise of new synthetic forms of community engendered by the marriage of virtual forms of social media and the real instantiations of these experiential and spectacular environments.

Mr Andrei Martin
Faculty of Architecture and Built Environment, University of Westminster
March 22, 2015

A fantastic text but not what I thought it might be and unfortunately it doesn't suit the course

Mr Mark Timoney
Social Science, Sligo Institute of Technology
February 18, 2015

Excellent book on both space/place in urban sociology and the consumptive aspects of the modern economy. Students would find a number of articles interesting, but the broader discussion around globalization would be lost in favor of focusing on a few topics. Good book for course on McDonaldization or Consumptive Spaces.


Mr Mark Caldwell
Sociology Dept, University of Wisconsin - Milwaukee
September 19, 2013

Excellent and diverse readings. Well written and enjoyable even if you are not using it as a teaching aid. Particularly enjoyed material on Glasgow

Ms Maria Feeney
Politics and Sociology (Paisley), University of the West of Scotland
August 5, 2013

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

Sample Materials & Chapters

Introduction: The City of Complicity

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