Theorising Place as Practiced Object of Consumption: A Street Ethnographic Story
Thesis or dissertation
University of Exeter
This study theorises and conceptualises place as an object of consumption, formed, shaped, and affected through practices. The study problematizes place treatments in extant managerial sciences and its contextual interpretations within consumption. It draws from a range of disciplinary inspirations from management studies, social sciences, philosophical, and phenomenological musings to empirically interrogate place construct using ethnography, in itself understood as placemaking practice. It analyses and interprets place through the lens of practice theories and non-representational methods to conceptualise place in consumption, and critically revisits its ontological hierarchy vis-à-vis space. The study delivers several methodological, theoretical, and axiological contributions. It uses an adapted form of historical street ethnography to interrogate place, imbuing it with a critical reflexive standpoint, and positions a revitalised and reinvigorated street ethnography as a critical reflexive epistemic tool of knowledge production in the analytical transitions from phenomenological to post-phenomenological narratives. The study’s theoretical, discipline-specific contributions arise from synchronous examinations of place, consumption, practice, and non-representations. It empirically validates heuristics of non-representation and practices in contextually examining place in consumption, appreciates genomic qualities of practices brigaded through universality of human experiences as pools of actions and competencies articulating consumption, and contemplates place as a processual, aspatial, fluid entity grasped beyond marketplace logic through practices. It expands understandings of marketplace, setting, structure, and actor, and invites attention to the liquefied, flowing nature of market and consumption through place plasticity and path-dependent practices. It emphasises the illocutionary force of place as object of consumption shaped through and in each moment of practice. The study empirically validates the reenchanted ontology of place, resituating it as the universal supreme abstract with space and time as component, co-constitutive elements, thus resituating extant place-space hierarchy. The study’s axiological and managerial contributions highlight mutability of practices in shaping place beyond marketplace logic in its many forms and settings, valorise everyday activities in shaping marketplace, illuminate the role of public, civic, and communal spaces and their contributions in the transition from market economy to marketized society not captured by marketplace discourses, and invite practice and non-representations into depictions of place marketing and consumption.
PhD in Management Studies