Modes of Shopping Constituting a Local Street: A video-ethnography of shopping as a practice

Research output: Contribution to conferenceAbstract


In the last decades spatiotemporal manifestations of shopping are changed radically in conjunction with proliferation of car usage, internationalization of retail, and establishment of out-of-town malls. The social, cultural, and economic backgrounds of this axis alteration and its implication to the city life have been discussed thoroughly. However, the main empirical focus laid mostly on the mainstream and spectacular geographies of shopping. There is little literature on how shopping is enacted in “other” shopping geographies, particularly on local shopping streets.

Södergatan, established as the main street of a working-class district in Helsingborg, Sweden, after going through modernization phases, today it mostly hosts so-called migrant entrepreneurships, service-based premises, and grocery stores. This study examines the major modes of shopping on this local shopping street in order to understand how shopping geographies outside of mainstream ensure their relevance. It contributes to the literature on shopping geographies from a cultural perspective, particularly on the co-constitutive interrelation between enactments of shopping and arrangements of shopping places. While doing this, the study engages in “practice theory”, which supplies a profound conceptual vocabulary and dynamic epistemological gaze for concentrating on shopping as the main analytical unit. The major method employed in the research is video-ethnography, due to its capability to synchronically appreciate enactments of shopping, shoppers’ reflections, the sensory and material environment of the street, and the movement within.

The research shows that there are some major place-specific modes of shopping that are enacted in the street and in the district, and these modes of shopping, bundling with each other, materially and sensorially co-constitute the street into a meaningful, integral and convivial part of the city.


Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Social Sciences Interdisciplinary


  • Shopping, Shopping street, Practice theory, Video ethnography
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 2019
Publication categoryResearch
EventESA 14th Conference of the
European Sociological Association: Europe and Beyond: Boundaries, Barriers and Belonging
- Manchester, United Kingdom
Duration: 2019 Aug 202019 Aug 23
Conference number: 14


ConferenceESA 14th Conference of the
European Sociological Association
Abbreviated titleESA 2019
CountryUnited Kingdom
Internet address

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