Community in the consumptionscape?
: Exploring social relations of spaces of consumption in Bristol (United Kingdom) and the West Bank (occupied Palestinian territory, oPt)

Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisDoctor of Philosophy


This research explores how we live together in heterogeneous societies. Despite a call to recognise the economic, political, and social structures that influence lived experiences, analyses of social relations have often situated heterogeneity at the micro-level of everyday encounters, with research presenting the contexts of everyday life and spaces of consumption as a background to social relations. Such a stance can be summarised as positioning social relations in spaces of consumption. This dissertation builds on and complements previous research by positioning these everyday spaces as social actors with a prefigurative and productive role in shaping how social relations develop and unfold within them. The dissertation seeks to explore the role of spaces of consumption in the production and experience of social relations. Here I explore the nature and types of social relations that become mediated via spaces of consumption using a qualitative critical research approach across two case studies: Bristol in the United Kingdom (UK) and the West Bank in the occupied Palestinian territory (oPt). These form the basis from which I explore and critically contextualise social relations against their settings of consumption, via processes of meaning-making and contestation. The findings of this dissertation show that spaces of consumption act as spaces of opportunity, as spaces of marginalisation or alienation, and as spaces of exclusion, translating into a multi-faceted and contradictory mosaic of what I refer to as the social relations of spaces of consumption. A critique is offered of how social relations emerge and unfold in everyday spaces and how consumption practices signify (as well as create) divergent lived experiences. The lens of the consumptionscape has allowed me to consider the horizontal axes of connection and encounters, as well as the vertical axes of differentiation and power that prefigure and produce social relations. The dissertation thus offers a critical lens for understanding how people coexist in heterogeneous societies in the contexts of their everyday lives.
Date of Award1 Nov 2022
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • Coventry University
SupervisorMichael Hardy (Supervisor) & Eva Kipnis (Supervisor)


  • social structures
  • West Bank
  • heterogeneous societies
  • occupied Palestinian territory
  • Bristol
  • consumptionscape

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