Devrim Umut AslanTimlärare
Research areas and keywords
UKÄ subject classification
- Social Sciences
- Consumer Research, Consumption Studies, Urban Studies, Migrant Entrepreneurship, Visual Anthropology, Retail Geography, Practice Theory, Video Ethnography
I gained my bachelor degree from Bogazici University in Istanbul, at Sociology Department. In Sweden, at the graduate level, I studied “International Migration and Ethnical Relations” at Malmö University and later at Lund University I earned a “Master of Applied Cultural Studies”. There I wrote my master thesis on migrant entrepreneurs who are from Turkey and running restaurants in Malmö. Additionally, both in Istanbul and in Gothenburg I studied theatre science and was a part of amateur theatre groups.
In 2013 I started my PhD studies at the Department of Service Management and Service Studies as a member of an interdisciplinary research project on retail and shopping in the region of Helsingborg, which ended 2016 and primarily financed by City of Helsingborg and Helsingborg's Trade Association. As a group of researchers from Service Management Institution, we analyzed and mapped shoppers’ practices from a holistic perspective and investigated the complex and shifting nature of shopping activity. My main contribution to this research project was utilizing video ethnography as a research method, and providing hands-on approach to studying consumer activities. The outcome of the research is published in a book-form which I co-edited together with Prof. Cecilia Fredriksson, the leader of the research group.
In addition to my position at the institution as a PHD candidate, I also worked as a retail analyst for City of Helsingborg between 2013-2017. In this position, I helped to construct a knowledge base for developing city-management strategies in the region of Helsingborg, consisting of eleven municipalities by providing analysis of global and local consumer trends, but also by executing short-term research projects such as multichannel city-retail, christmas commerce, sustainable city retail, consumers' preference of retail destination.
Since April 2017 I have solely been working on my dissertation project and my research is financed by Center for Retail Research at Lund University.
Shopping on a local high street
My dissertation project is based on a qualitative research study on shopping activities on a shopping street in Helsingborg.
Retail and place have always been in a dynamic interrelation throughout the history. However particularly in the last three decades there have been some radical shifts in the outcomes of this interrelationship. The organisation and manifestations of stores, shopping streets, malls, and in turn, cities have dramatically changed. These contemporary shifts, formations and transformations in the shopping geographies have found also their reflection in the related academic literature. However the main empirical focus has been mostly on the "spectacular" new shopping environments, such as upmarket pedestrianized high streets, new shopping malls, and flagship stores, and there is little literature on current situations in “other” retail geographies, particularly in local shopping streets.
My study sheds light on shopping activities on local shopping streets, how these activites co-construct the streets, and in what meaningful ways local streets become integral elements of wider urban context. It contributes specifically to the theoretical discussion within shopping geography on the interplay between shoppers and retail places. While doing this, the study engages with “practice theory”, which supplies a profound conceptual framework for analyzing people’s everyday activities. The major method employed in the study is video-ethnography, due to its capability to synchronically appreciate shopping activities, shoppers’ reflections, the sensorial and material environment of the street, and the movement within.
Södergatan, a local shopping street in the stigmatized southern part of Helsingborg, Sweden, is chosen as a case study for my inquiry. Initially established as a working-class district in the 19th century, today it mostly hosts so-called migrant entrepreneurships, service-based premises, and convenience stores. The research shows that there are place-specific shopping activities that are executed on the street. The spatial, temporal, sensorial, and material dimensions, in which shoppers are embedded in, are also found to be premiere factors orchestrating how shopping is enacted.
Recent research outputs
Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceeding › Book chapter
Research output: Contribution to conference › Abstract