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Consuming postcolonial shopping malls

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Abstract:

Through a naturalistic inquiry, we interpret shopping malls in India as post-colonial sites in which young consumers deploy the West in an attempt to transform their Third World identities. Shopping malls in former colonies represent a post-colonial hybridity that offers consumers the illusion of being Western, modern, and developed. Moreover, consumption of post-colonial retail arenas is characterised as a masquerade through which young consumers attempt to disguise or temporarily transcend their Third World realities. This interpretation helps us to offer insights into transitioning retail servicescapes of the Third World, which in turn helps to improve extant understanding of consumer identity and global consumer culture.

Keywords: consumer culture; consumer identity; post-colonialism; shopping malls

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1080/0267257X.2011.617706

Affiliations: 1: Indian Institute of Management, Calcutta, India 2: York University, TorontoOntario, Canada

Publication date: 2012-02-01

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