From commercial retail environments to branded urban villages, brands are now a salient feature of contemporary cityscapes and are deeply entwined in people’s everyday lives. Drawing on extensive empirical material and recent theoretical developments in the sociology of brands, this book explores the complex relationship between brands, consumption and urban life. Covering a range of brands and branding in the city, from themed retail stores to branded cultural quarters, it considers how brands provide new ways of mediating identities, lifestyles and social relations. At the same time, the book reveals how brands are bound up with forms of socio-spatial division and exclusion in the city, defining what kinds of practices, images or attitudes are acceptable in a particular place, constituting cultural boundaries that keep certain people and activities out. With attention throughout to the social and cultural implications of the presence of brands in urban space, Brands and the City examines how people engage with brands, and how brands shape urbanites’ experiences and sense of self, society and space. An extensive exploration of the processes through which brands are integrated into cities, their effects on everyday experiences and their role in the policing and governance of urban space, this book will appeal to scholars across the social sciences with interests in urban studies, consumption and branding.
Table of Contents
2. Cities, Consumption, and Brands
3. Understanding Brands and Branding
4. Brandscaped Terrain
5. Branding Urban Space: Processes and Paradoxes
6. Brands, Mobilities, and Urban Life
Sonia Bookman is Associate Professor of Sociology at the University of Manitoba, Canada.