RACE & RETAIL: Consumer Culture, Economic Citizenship, and Power
An Interdisciplinary Conference
Conference: CALL FOR PROPOSALS. Deadline:February 29
DATE: Friday, May 4 2012
Location: Rutgers, State University of New Jersey (New Brunswick)
Organizers: Mia Bay
Although everyone’s money is green, shopping had long been closely associated with racial and ethnic divisions.
While the formal abolition of segregation has expanded integrated retail spaces, even in the post Civil Rights movement era retail establishments market themselves to specific communities, mirroring the patterns of residential segregation that continue to divide towns and cities into racial and ethnic neighborhoods. African American shopping districts remain common in many urban areas, while many elite shopping districts still cater largely to wealthy whites. In recent years Koreatowns, Chinatowns, Hispanic shopping centers and other ethnic retail spaces have sprung up to serve immigrant communities in American cities and suburbs. Meanwhile, patterns of consumption, access to credit, levels of wealth, buying and social status also tend to vary greatly among different groups, creating distinctive experiences of race and retail even within integrated spaces.
This conference will build on recent scholarship on race, retail, and the service industry to both explore these experiences and to delve into questions of race and buying power, inequality, patterns of consumption, or discriminatory practice. It aims to bring together scholars from a wide range of disciplines – history, sociology, cultural studies, law, business, anthropology, economics, ethnic studies, and other fields – to examine the emerging and often complex connections between race, consumption, and power.
We are eager to receive proposals for papers on a variety of topics, including shopping and discrimination; credit practices; retail, urban geography, and gentrification; gender, race, and consumerism; purchasing power and boycotts; selling style and beauty culture; race, ethnicity and advertising; and poverty and consumption practices.
Applicants should submit a cv and paper proposal to the Center for Race & Ethnicity at firstname.lastname@example.org by February 29, and should expect to be notified by March 14. Paper proposals should be no more than 1-2 pages in length, engage intersections between race, retail, consumption, and power, and provide a platform for broad, cross-disciplinary discussion.
Travel and accommodation expenses relating to the conference will be covered by the Center for Race and Ethnicity. We expect that an edited volume will be published from the proceedings.
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