Skip navigation

Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item:
Title: Nowe przestrzenie kultury codzienności (na przykładzie centrów handlowych)
Authors: Jankowska-Górczyńska, Aleksandra
Advisor: Żydek-Bednarczuk, Urszula
Keywords: socjologia życia codziennego; centra handlowe; społeczeństwo konsumpcyjne; kultura masowa
Issue Date: 2011
Publisher: Katowice : Uniwersytet Śląski
Abstract: The main research aim of the doctoral dissertation entitled New Spaces of Everyday Life (based on the example of shopping centres) is to identify the most important changes that have occurred in the contemporary culture of everyday life. The presumed changes are observed based on an analysis of shopping/services/entertainment centres (the everyday life of consumers). A shopping centre is an example of an area appropriate for such an analysis for the following three reasons: firstly, a shopping centre is a stylised urban area (an area of everyday events); secondly, a shopping centre offers the goods and services that are necessary to maintain and improve everyday life (clothing, places to eat out, interior decoration articles, household articles, etc.); and thirdly, a shopping centre attracts a large audience with its entertainment opportunities, thus stealing consumers’ free time. All these elements directly describe everyday life. The analysis in the dissertation is based on materials gathered by the author in the years 2007-2010. The author examines images of shopping and entertainment space (photographs), images of a contemporary city (photographs), the entertainment opportunities offered by the consumption sites, the origin of their names, and the image of the world presented in publications for consumers (the following brochures: infoSFERA, Modna Sfera Miasta, Sarni Stok). The main research method used in the dissertation is a description of the phenomena observed by the author (an analysis of spatial points), supplemented by a semiotic analysis. The author begins with advancing the following three theses: 1. selected parts of urban space spread to shopping centres, where they are redefined aesthetically and functionally; 2. the everyday life of shopping centres has been equipped with tools encouraging the audience to consume what the shopping centre offers (the unusual, or non-everyday, has become a strategy for new everydayness); 3. the new everydayness has given birth to a new pop culture. The dissertation consists of three parts: part one – a theoretical part (New phenomena in contemporary culture – a theoretical outline); part two – an analytical part (The new dimension of everydayness – a walk in a shopping mall); part three – a conclusion part (Pop culture and everydayness – an attempt to recapitulate and the conclusions). In the theoretical part, the author discusses the phenomena that indirectly or directly contributed to the creation of shopping centres (the need for social exchange, the marketplace, the shift from industrialism to postindustrial culture, the pioneering architecture of department stores, the spread of self-service, an attempt to reproduce the urban atmosphere in closed areas). In addition, this part provides definitions of the basic concepts of the analysis: consumer culture, cultural space, city, culture of everyday life. The author also considers the four main metaphors for ‘shopping centre’, which are useful in depicting and interpreting it (temple of consumption, spectacle, museum, labyrinth). The analytical part is divided into the following two research areas: in the first area, the author studies shopping space as a pop-culture interpretation of urban space (a comparison); the second area investigates the way shopping space affects consumers by means of images and words. The first area depicts the non-everyday appearance of a shopping centre. The analysis is carried out in two separate spatial plans: a general plan (the stage and backstage) and a specific plan (shopping windows and their content). Within the general plan, it has been found that a shopping centre contains elements normally found in urban space: alleys (circulation routes), rubbish bins, benches, lamp-posts, architectural structures resembling footbridges and flyovers, central points (fountains, ‘roundabouts’), plants, signposts (signs and marks), advertising signs, shopping windows, imitations of buildings, glazed roofs (the image of “the sky over the city”). Within the specific plan, it has been proved that the following creation tools are used in shop displays: totality (proposals of complete room decor solutions and a comprehensive range of goods), thematisation (offering one type of goods), inspiration by past periods, mimetism (imitating nature), dynamic images, and the use of mannequins as a representation of the human body. In addition, the predominant shopping centre entertainment profile is considered: playrooms for children (play, education, and the opportunity for parents to do their shopping in a stressfree way); gyms and fitness clubs (active recreation); game zones, with predominantly electronic games (resembling the nighttime atmosphere of a city); non-commercial areas for events to be attended by large numbers of people. The second research area involved an analysis of the following: consumer information (an information board), the motivation behind the creation of names (the names of shopping centres), and means of persuasion as used in consumer magazines (using conventional genres of journalism, referring to sociocultural mythologies, influencing the audience through connoted meanings). It needs to be emphasised that the analyses are by no means evaluative. Instead, the aim is to describe and interpret, but not to evaluate, the reality. The dissertation is summarised by dividing all the conclusions into three groups (sections): Section one (Values and norms of the new pop culture) is a collection of information describing the new concerns of the present times arising as a result of expansion of the values and norms of consumer culture in everyday life. It has been found that what shopping centres offer can be divided into the following pop culture categories: fashion, health and beauty, home, free time and travel, gadgets and motoring, education and entertainment, family, cooking. Section two (Models of the user of the new pop culture: woman, man, child, lifestyle) contains a summary, in table form, of the most important findings about the condition of the contemporary consumer. Finally, the last, third section is an attempt to provide the answer to the following question: How, within the context of the findings, can the new reality be described? (What is the new reality like?). The author concludes that the new reality is a product of consumer culture characterised by the following: surprising the audience; the intended magical nature of the reality; promoting a comfortable lifestyle; idealising physical appearance; totality; continuously negotiating the established meanings; promotional rhetoric; the requirement of interactivity; commitment to using technology; orientation towards change (dynamic images); elimination of routine; virtuality. The summary also looks at selected elements of the present day which constitute everyday life today and which should be the subject of more in-depth analyses in the future. These include the obligation to be visible in society (self-presentation techniques), the active participation of individuals (negation of passive attitudes), seeking thrilling experiences, consuming objects, but also consuming images and places, combining information with entertainment, and combining information with persuasion. Therefore, the theses advanced at the beginning of the dissertation (1. urban space spreads to shopping centres; 2. the unusual, or non-everyday, has become a strategy for new everydayness; 3. the new everydayness has given birth to a new pop culture) have been confirmed.
Appears in Collections:Rozprawy doktorskie (W.Hum.)

Files in This Item:
File Description SizeFormat 
Jankowska_Gorczynska_Nowe_przestrzenie_kultury.pdf38,06 MBAdobe PDFView/Open
Show full item record

Items in RE-BUŚ are protected by copyright, with all rights reserved, unless otherwise indicated.