Urban Nightscapes: Youth Cultures, Pleasure Spaces and Corporate Power (Critical Geographies)

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9780415283465: Urban Nightscapes: Youth Cultures, Pleasure Spaces and Corporate Power (Critical Geographies)
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In many western cities, urban nightlife is experiencing a 'McDonaldisation', where big branded names are taking over large parts of downtown areas, leaving consumers with an increasingly standardised experience.
This book takes a new look at this rapidly changing aspect of urban life, examining the relationships between young adults, nightlife and city spaces. It focuses on what the authors call 'urban nightscapes' - both mainstream and alternative youthful cultural activities in bars, pubs, night-clubs and music venues, which occur against a backdrop of increasing corporate influence in the night-time economy.

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Review:

'I heard author Rob Hollands give a brilliant paper on the research that is reported in this book ... the book certainly matched the appeal ... An engaging read.' - Young People Now

'... a terrific book which adds yet another dimension to contemporary thinking on th meaning of the 'right to the city'.' - Cultural Geographies

Synopsis:

In many western cities, urban nightlife is experiencing a 'McDonaldisation', where big branded names are taking over large parts of downtown areas, leaving consumers with an increasingly standardised experience. Urban Nightscapes takes a new look at this rapidly changing aspect of urban life, examining the relationships between young adults, nightlife and city spaces. It focuses on what the authors call 'urban nightscapes' - youthful and playful cultural activities in bars, pubs, night-clubs and music venues, which occur against a backdrop of increasing corporate influence in the night-time economy. The first part of the book explores three inter-related aspects of these nightscapes: production and the role of large-scale corporate entertainment operators, who provide branded, themed and stylised experiences; regulation through practices which aid capital accumulation and city 'image-building'; and consumption where a night out is characterised by segmentation of youth identity and activity.

Urban Nightscapes highlights who owns and controls the night-time economy and in particular, the increasing amount of mergers and concentration of ownership; the pervasive use of surveillance (both technological and social); and how mainstream, commercial nightlife is squeezing out both older, historic and alternative, independent forms of enjoyment. The second part of the book then colourfully explores these ideas through detailed ethnographic case-studies of young professionals, students, women and gay consumers, excluded groups and also alternative nightlife activity, such as squats and free parties. Throughout the book the authors explore pockets of resistance to the standardised experience and suggest a number of potential future scenarios for cities at night beyond the corporate nightlife machine. These include the development of a more diverse, creative and democratic night-time economy, in which big business and their profits play a much smaller role. Urban Nightscapes presents a theoretical and lively ethnographic account for understanding contemporary youth cultures, urban change and nightlife.

It is relevant to those interested in issues of popular culture, corporate power and resistance in the contemporary city.

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9780415283458: Urban Nightscapes: Youth Cultures, Pleasure Spaces and Corporate Power (Critical Geographies)

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ISBN 10:  0415283450 ISBN 13:  9780415283458
Publisher: Routledge, 2003
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