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Emerging landscapes of consumption in China : independent retail, urban form and urban life in post-reform Beijing

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Emerging landscapes of consumption in China : independent retail, urban form and urban life in post-reform Beijing

Sbaihi, Nadia (2009) Emerging landscapes of consumption in China : independent retail, urban form and urban life in post-reform Beijing. Masters thesis, Concordia University.

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Abstract

Through a case-study in the district of Haidian in Beijing, this thesis investigates the effects of the development of independent retail in neighbourhood streets at the periphery of walled housing estates in post-reform China. A theoretical framework that combines retailing geography, the study of the urban form, and the study of everyday practices is proposed. The research posits that the development of a street's retail landscape is an important expression of an emerging culture of mass consumption and leisure; through this research I seek to better understand how such a new reality impacts the daily routine of the residents of Beijing who use the local commercial streets. Drawing on abundant data derived from varied empirical procedures, this study documents and interprets the physical and social manifestations pertaining to seven local commercial streets. The social practices and perceptions of groups of users are investigated through questionnaires, interviews, and observations. I discuss how, through their daily interactions with the built environment, lay urban dwellers create space , while collectively conferring meaning to otherwise inert artefacts. The study sheds light on the cultural significance of a new retail environment that reshapes urban China. Situated at the intersection of the privatisation of land use rights, the development of mass consumption, and the disbanding of old communitarian living arrangements, the new landscapes of consumption are in many regards the embodiment of a post-communism Chinese ethos

Divisions:Concordia University > Faculty of Arts and Science > Geography, Planning and Environment
Item Type:Thesis (Masters)
Authors:Sbaihi, Nadia
Pagination:xiii, 196 leaves : ill. ; 29 cm.
Institution:Concordia University
Degree Name:M.A.
Program:Geography, Planning, and Environment
Date:2009
Thesis Supervisor(s):Gauthier, P
ID Code:976412
Deposited By: Concordia University Library
Deposited On:22 Jan 2013 16:25
Last Modified:18 Jan 2018 17:42
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