Negotiating the global–urban: consumer flows in two Hong Kong retail sites

Negotiating the global–urban: consumer flows in two Hong Kong retail sites
Krzysztof Z Jankowski
This paper draws on ethnographic data to investigate consumer flow in two retail sites and the urban territories that exist through them. The nature of urbanization is an integral and evolving factor in the everyday life of city-dwellers; however, the local forms of global–urban space remains opaque. This paper employs a flow and territory approach to analyse global retail culture in two local settings: a shopping mall and a flea market. While each retail site is defined by transnational connection, their respective locations in the global are products of very different urban territories. As such, the capability to make connections and territorialize global flows of retail goods becomes integral to understand the form of the urban constituting each retail site. Where the shopping mall can delineate the global to just the ‘world’s best’, the flea market is overwhelmed by the global flows of consumer excess. The analysis contributes a territorial approach to the study of cultural globalization, showing how globalization is demarcated by boundaries that are both local and global, real and virtual, making such global flows a resource or a threat to structuring one’s social world.

Publication date

1 Jan 2022 – 30 Nov 2022

Journal title, volume/issue number, page range

Territory, Politics, Governance - Online First




Social Sciences


Urban / Rural