Consumption in and of Space and Place: An exploration of the alternative arts spaces

Andreea Ionescu

Research output: ThesisDoctoral Thesis


Although consumer research has been exposed to a variety of different philosophical perspectives and disciplinary traditions, spatial perspectives remain relatively absent (Chatzidakis & McEachern, 2013). Among those studies that have attempted to research spatiality in consumption, there are two main perspectives that focus on the relationship between space/place and consumption patterns. The first, considers space and place as context of consumption and focuses on the servicescape literature, in which space ‘assists the production and consumption of stories’ (Chronis et al. 2012, p.22), thus highlighting the supportive role of space as context of consumption and its impact on consumers. The second perspective considers space and place as object of consumption and focuses on the consumer culture literature, emphasising the active creation and negotiation of meaning inherent in places. The last decades have recorded a paradigmatic transition from consumers acting as objects in the marketplace, as recipients of value goods, to consumers as subjects that co-create and co-produce service by means of agentic processes such as practices of contestation. Drawing on Lefebvre’s (1991) spatial theories that consider processes of appropriating space and co-production, and applying this to an alternative arts background, this research aims to explore how consumers contest representations of space (i.e. all the signs and significations, codes and knowledge, that allow material practices to be talked about and understood). In doing this, the study will expand knowledge regarding the consumption in/of space and place dialectics, the alternative scapes and consumer contestation, and Lefebvre’s theoretical framework that facilitates a thorough understanding of how space and place impact on consumer contestation.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusIn preparation - 2016

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