Date of Award

6-9-2006

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

Department

Anthropology

First Advisor

Emanuela Guano - Chair

Second Advisor

Cassandra White

Third Advisor

Kathryn Kozaitis

Abstract

With the postmodern prevalence of shopping as both a recreational and subsistence activity, social class identity is increasingly constituted around access to the landscape of consumption. U.S. middle-class identity is normalized in commercial spaces and the exclusion of the lower-class from these spaces perpetuates wider social disparities. For socially aware members of the middle-class, distinction may be achieved by selectively shopping throughout the metropolitan area with the goal of influencing corporate practices. Yet this distinction is not without cost as middle-class shoppers are prime targets of identity marketing schemes and of the neoliberal regime’s construction of consent. Through 15 self-proclaimed middle-class shoppers’ reported use of Atlanta’s postmodern landscape of consumption, this study focuses on performances of middle-classness and representations of commercialized spaces with the goal of furthering the anthropological understanding of class identity and urban space as heterogeneous.

Included in

Anthropology Commons

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