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Social Spatialization and the Built Environment: The West Edmonton Mall

Social Spatialization and the Built Environment: The West Edmonton Mall The West Edmonton Mall, situated on the northwestern extremities of the Canadian Prairies, and the largest shopping–leisure complex at the time of writing, draws shoppers from all over North America and even Japan. As a privatized public space which diverts consumers from other urban areas it has occasioned much civic boosterism. It presents a fascinating set of interventions in the local social spatialization of a regional capital on the North American cultural periphery. The Mall both imposes and implies changes in the spatial patterns of everyday life, in the imaginary geography of sites of consumption in North America, and in conceptions of the world as a space of distance and difference. To draw on Lefebvre, the creation of such a space in the built environment, called a hyperspace by some, amounts both to a new representation of the spatial and to a ‘space of representation’. Building upon the work of Benjamin and Bakhtin, an analysis of liminality and carnival in the Mall's reunion of the rational and the ludic provides a critical perspective from which to evaluate recent work by Gottdiener on shopping malls. This leads to a view which pays close attention to users' resistance to the above suggestions through refunctioning and ‘hijacking’ the mall space for their own purposes. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Environment and Planning D: Society and Space SAGE

Social Spatialization and the Built Environment: The West Edmonton Mall

Environment and Planning D: Society and Space , Volume 7 (2): 18 – Jun 1, 1989

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References (68)

Publisher
SAGE
Copyright
© 1989 SAGE Publications
ISSN
0263-7758
eISSN
1472-3433
DOI
10.1068/d070147
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

The West Edmonton Mall, situated on the northwestern extremities of the Canadian Prairies, and the largest shopping–leisure complex at the time of writing, draws shoppers from all over North America and even Japan. As a privatized public space which diverts consumers from other urban areas it has occasioned much civic boosterism. It presents a fascinating set of interventions in the local social spatialization of a regional capital on the North American cultural periphery. The Mall both imposes and implies changes in the spatial patterns of everyday life, in the imaginary geography of sites of consumption in North America, and in conceptions of the world as a space of distance and difference. To draw on Lefebvre, the creation of such a space in the built environment, called a hyperspace by some, amounts both to a new representation of the spatial and to a ‘space of representation’. Building upon the work of Benjamin and Bakhtin, an analysis of liminality and carnival in the Mall's reunion of the rational and the ludic provides a critical perspective from which to evaluate recent work by Gottdiener on shopping malls. This leads to a view which pays close attention to users' resistance to the above suggestions through refunctioning and ‘hijacking’ the mall space for their own purposes.

Journal

Environment and Planning D: Society and SpaceSAGE

Published: Jun 1, 1989

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