Local Shops, Global Cities: Transforming Culture, One Street at a Time
Date: May 2, 2013
Location: 6 East 16th Street, Rm 1103
Sharon Zukin is professor of sociology at Brooklyn College and the City University Graduate Center. She has written a trilogy of books about New York City: Loft Living (1982), The Cultures of Cities (1995) and, most recently, Naked City: The Death and Life of Authentic Urban Places (Oxford University Press, 2010). Her book Landscapes of Power: From Detroit to Disney World won the C. Wright Mills Award. In Point of Purchase, she examined shopping as the wellspring of public culture in the U.S. Zukin has received the Robert and Helen Lynd Award for career achievement in urban sociology from the Section on Community and Urban Sociology of the American Sociological Association.
This talk presents images and data at the midpoint of a transnational research project on local shopping streets in six major cities from Shanghai to Amsterdam, passing through the Lower East Side and Brooklyn. Taking a common urban space as a microcosm of modern social, cultural, and economic exchanges, we look at the powers and flows that shape the shopping street as a space of both homogeneity and difference. When globalization tightens connections between distant places, do the streets that make up a distinctive urban vernacular become more alike?