Malls without stores (MwS): the affectual spaces of a Buenos Aires shopping mall

Miller, Jacob (2014) Malls without stores (MwS): the affectual spaces of a Buenos Aires shopping mall. Transactions of the Institute of British Geographers, 39 (1). pp. 14-25. ISSN 0020-2754

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As shopping malls have become increasingly common in urban and suburban landscapes, retail and consumer sciences have made these spaces more affectively intense by targeting the body of the consumer directly. Through a case study of a shopping mall in central Buenos Aires, Argentina, I suggest that non‐representational theory offers advantages in studying spaces like malls for two reasons. First, shopping malls offer an opportunity to study the engineering of affect that is central to this emerging literature on materiality, politics and technology. The analysis, then, will lead to a discussion of the mall’s capacity to function as a biopolitical technology as well as an economic one. Second, this approach sutures a false binary in the consumption literature between strong theories of producer power and the creativity of consumers. Interviews with mall visitors, participant observation and findings from ethnographic field work inform the figure of malls without stores (MwS), an analytic concept adapted from Deleuze and Guattari’s body without organs (BwO) that reconfigures a binary reading of the consumption literature and expands the purview of what is political about these spaces.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Argentina, affect, body without organs, shopping malls, non‐representational theory, consumption
Subjects: L700 Human and Social Geography
Department: Faculties > Engineering and Environment > Geography and Environmental Sciences
Depositing User: Becky Skoyles
Date Deposited: 12 Dec 2018 12:26
Last Modified: 11 Oct 2019 15:15

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