Show How Different Ideological Approaches Have Helped You To Understand The Cultural Significance Of Spaces And Places

2057 words - 9 pages

Show how different ideological approaches have helped you to understand the cultural significance of spaces and places.
[40 Marks]
Places and spaces can communicate a fixed view on the world, positioning audiences to hold the preferred, closed reading that alternative theoretical approaches transmit to their audiences. Ideologies are dominant theories that can be implicit or explicit within places and spaces. Therefore, places and spaces are cultural transmitters, playing a role in en-culturing an audience through dominant encoded ideologies. Places and spaces include a variety of texts, from parks to swimming pools, homes to prisons all encoding messages through their parademic choices ...view middle of the document...

By feeding the needs of the consumer, the Trafford Centre has generated £22.5 billion for CSE since opening in 1988 proving the Trafford Centre as a place for capitalism to thrive.
An oppositional reading of this capitalist and consumerist building is the Marxist interpretation. The weak are exploited through many forms of capitalist culture within the proclaimed ‘Cathedral of Consumption’ to which the building favours the bourgeoisie. On entering the building, the audience is positioned to enter through one of two department stores- a deliberate attempt to maximise consumption for the Trafford Centre and generate more profit for the favoured bourgeoisie. By positioning the audience in this way they are distracted by the show that the shops are performing and therefore follow the ‘bewildered herd’ into becoming the pseudo individualised consumer. Those in the Trafford centre are being watched under 24 hour surveillance, excluding anyone who appears a threat to the building. This form of control is an ISA under Althusser, showing how a building can pride itself in welcoming all but control every individual through implicit and hidden rules of conduct. Veblen would emphasis the theory of leisure consumption, stating that the Trafford Centre is a place where the audience can express their class through their leisure activities rather than their career for example, taking trips to shopping centres and buying impractical clothing. However, self reflexivity is also present in shops such as ‘All Saints’ where the ‘hard work ethic’ is admired by the upper classes contradicting Veblen and Bourdieu’s cultural capital. However, when taking a more liberal stance, the zeitgeist of the Trafford Centre becomes an expression of many optimistic post-modernists embracing the form of representation as a diversity of popular culture.
A preferred reading of the Trafford Centre is a market liberal reading. A liberal interpretation is that the weak are in charge of their actions inside the ‘Cathedral of Consumption’, which opposes the Marxist ideology placing the consumer as king. Patterson expresses the ‘savvy v sucker’ debate stating that the consumer is aware of the capitalist influence around them and will continue to make the most of it. The consumer is the winner in the Trafford Centre, taking full advantage of the leisure activities and as Veblen states, defining their identities through this. Patterson would argue that the audience uses the Trafford Centre to express their unique identities through buying into the commodificaition of products but Adorno’s pseudo individualism contradicts this and places the receiver into the ‘bewildered herd’. Market liberalists would see the Trafford Centre as a place of laissez faire capitalism, the bourgeoisie producing affordable products and services for the working classes, keeping the lower classes as the winners through no exploitation.
Not all buildings have a capitalist motivation to them as you can see from the...

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