Dr. Helena Grinshpun
"Urban Space, Consumption and Identity in Contemporary Japan"
This research offers a new perspective to look at the intersection of public space, cultural representation and social stratification in contemporary urban Japan. It aims to investigate the strategies employed to design and control urban public space, and the ways in which these function to mark social boundaries and cultural identities. It also aspires to identify the power relations shaping these strategies, as well as the interest groups involved in this process.
The research focuses on newly emerging urban sites of consumption such as shopping centers, multi-purpose commercial complexes, and open entertainment zones. By examining the modes of spatial design and visual representation employed in these sites, I hope to develop a set of analytical tools essential for comprehending the socio-cultural organization of Japanese urban public spaces. Moreover, I believe that this analysis will offer a broader perspective on the dynamics of cultural consumption and its implications for national discourse over identity.