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Shopping, space and practice.

Gregson, N. and Crewe, L. and Brooks, K. (2002) 'Shopping, space and practice.', Environment and planning D : society and space., 20 (5). pp. 597-617.


In this paper we address questions of 'shopping as practised' and its relation to shopping space. We argue that modes of shopping, which comprise distinctive sets of shopping practices involving relations to goods (purchases), relations of looking (and seeing), the place of shopping in the rhythms of everyday life, and the socialities of shopping, are used to invest meaning in particular types of shopping space and to produce individual, accumulated, personalised shopping geographies that weave together particular locations and generic spaces. Furthermore, modes of shopping are shown to require specific sets of knowledge to practise and to relate to specific subject positions, namely necessity and choice. These arguments are developed in relation to charity shops and charity shopping. However, they are shown to have broader implications: specifically they show the relationality of modes of shopping and shopping spaces, and the distinctions between shopping geographies and retail geographies. Theoretically, they suggest that accounts of shopping need to locate meaning in practice; that the meanings of shopping (and the meanings invested in particular shopping spaces) are therefore potentially unstable; and that accounts of the constituting subjects of shopping need to take seriously the spatialities of subjectivities.

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Date of first online publication:2002
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