The Supermarket as Cultural Spaces

by | Jul 15, 2001

It wasn’t exactly a shopping trip. Nam was investigating supermarkets and department stores as social, cultural spaces. Consumption is not simply an economic practice, but one of the most important means in the contemporary world for the cultural construction of self. In the San Miguel commercial district, Nam examined how the burgeoning supermarket as well as certain foreign and traditional goods?was used differently by social groups and how these different cultural meanings compete with each other.

“Consumption is a battlefield,” he observes “In which various forms of social identity are established, reproduced and arranged.”

Spring/Summer 2001

 

Seongmun Nam, a doctoral candidate in Harvard’s Graduate School of Arts and Sciences Anthropology Department, explored supermarkets and shopping malls in Lima, Peru,with a 1998-1999 DRCLAS summer research grant.

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