Spaces for Consumption

Eleni Spiliotes
Tuesday 3 January 2023

Miles, Steven. SAGE Publications, 2010. VLeBooks.

This book theorizes that a post-industrial transformation is underway in which the citizen’s relationship to the contemporary city is being redefined by consumerism, instead of production. Miles emphasizes that the book is not concerned with the spaces in which people consume, but rather with how the city itself is being commodified under the guise of cultural regeneration. Paradoxically, it is this supposed cultural renewal that is homogenizing cities, as their previously distinct identities are replaced with the universalizing ideology of “consumption as a way of life.” However, Miles caveats the ideological nature of the consumerist city by clarifying that the consumer is a complicit agent because they desire simultaneous individuality and conformity, which capitalism appears to provide. By framing the “urban renaissance” to which all countries currently aspire as a masquerade, Miles challenges the notion that spaces for consumption are a hallmark of prosperous and peaceful societies.


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