The paper “ Morocco and Other Cities as Important Spaces to Practice Consumption and Construct Identity" is a fascinating example of a literature review on social science. Consumption has emerged as a major theme in the modern debates both in the humanities as well as in the social sciences. As a result, every issue in society seems to have an association with the ability to consume. This can be viewed as a reflection of the wider process under which the very basic nature of our society seems to be implanted with consumer ethics (Miles & Miles, 2004, p.
2). Similarly, consumption has been perceived as being ideological. This is founded on the fact that consumption plays a central role in the maintenance of social relationships between people and their physical environment. This aspect is evident in the cities or urban centers that have been viewed as spaces to practice consumption or construct of identity. This fact is supported by Zukin (1998, p. 825) who determined that attention in the lifestyle in the urban areas has generated new and highly visible consumption spaces.
These are epitomized by boutiques, coffee bars, art galleries, cuisine restaurants, and Nouvelles. This has, in turn, generated new and sophisticated retail strategies combining, sales, advertisement, and entertainment as well as real estate development. This has shaped the construction of identity in the metropolitan spaces. Against this backdrop, this paper will focus on interrogating the assumption that cities are important spaces to practice consumption and/or construct identity. This will be discussed with reference to the consumption of populations/identities linked to place with the case study being Morocco which has seen several campaigns trying to sell Morocco as a place to experience the Orient.
Thus, the city in this country through its architecture and activities present to the tourists and invites them to consume it in such away. Consumption/construct identity in citiesIn a generic sense, a city cannot be simplistically perceived as one great mass of people but instead, it entails diverse groupings of collectives and individual persons. Thus, each city has its own distinct characteristics that emanate from peculiar demographic profiles of the members of the populations inhabiting the city. In addition, it has been cited that the social structure of cities is not characterized by constant stability but instead endowed with extensive dynamism which can be attributed to the historical, cultural, political, economic and environmental factors. Generally speaking, it can be increasingly easy to forget in founding an understanding of consumption in the post-modern epoch that there are considerable linkages that are historical in nature between the cities and consumption.
This is robustly based at the core of modernity as pointed out by Miles and Paddison (1998) in their work Urban consumption: A historiographical note. However, Miles (2010, p.
1) determined that the cities in the contemporary world are both were and what we consume. In this regard, the cities have been regarded as nothing more than a space for consumption in which diverse members of the population in the metropolitan spaces seemingly express themselves as citizens of a consumer society. In this regard, consumption lies at the heart of the modern city and as such, the consumption spaces lie at the core of what it denotes to be a citizen of the metropolitan society that people inhabit.