Faculty Scholarly Dissemination Grants

Title

Glocalizing Malls in the Global South: Shopping Centers, Cities, and Consumers in Chile, Turkey, and India

Department

Sociology Department

College

College of Liberal Arts and Sciences

Disciplines

Social and Behavioral Sciences

Abstract

Most research on shopping malls uses the U.S. suburban mall as the prototype for studying malls elsewhere. However, there is little comparative research on malls outside of the developed capitalist West. In this comparative study of urban shopping centers in Chile, Turkey, and India drawing on the authors research in Chile and India and published work on Turkey, we argue that malls in the Global South share more characteristics with one another than they do with their predecessors in developed countries. In contrast to the U.S., where malls followed post-war policies subsidizing suburban growth, malls in these three countries developed in the 1980s and 1990s after governments imposed free market policies to counteract economic and political crises. Moreover, malls in these countries operate in cities with large informal economies and ample public transit, making malls more integrated into urban spaces. Finally, malls in Chile, Turkey, and India are enmeshed in complex public debates about the role of Western consumer culture in their societies. We conclude that malls in the Global South have charted a distinct path from their developed world counterparts due to their political origins, unique urban environments, and their symbolic role in debates about national and class identities.

Conference Name

American Sociological Association Annual Conference

Conference Location

New York

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