Encounters at the Counter: Gender and the Shopping Experience Ayse Durakbasa and Dilek Cindoglu This chapter traces the feminisation of shopping in parallel with the rapid pro- liferation of shopping malls in Turkey since the 19803. The masculine world of the traditional bazaar (chars/2i) has been gradually transformed with the emergence of the high—street department store since turn-of-the-centuIy Ottoman modernisation. New shopping districts and promenades developed in the main cities of Turkey, espec'lally ﬂ afferthe"1‘960's‘,‘"a"e"Sh'oppi fi g‘vi“ of mainlylniddle-clas fi s’hgusewives’ routines. Gradually women’s control over the household budgetand consumption has increased in urban centres, because of the changing roles and tasks related to children and homemaking. One main focus is the inter-relationship between the change in the homemaking activities of women of the new middle classes and the rise of malls. We also describe how shoppers from different class backgrounds bene fi t from a web of shopping venues, ranging from the neighbourhood grocer, to open marketplaces, to malls and hypermarkets. The malls and entertainment centres that havebecome centres of urban life and culture remand Reent fifi 'ia fi ofa'dis‘tin‘c'tive fi t'aste among the upper classes and an increased socialisation in urban culture, especially among the youth of the lower classes. The social atmosphere in these malls re ﬂ ects both the ﬂ uidity of a post- modern consumption culture and the structural inequalities of class and gender. We describe the various dramas enacted between slmppers, shop assistants and shop managers, parallel with the changes in the organisation of the shop as a social setting. Hence the last section of the chapter looks at the work conditions of sales personnel as important actors in the shopping scene vis-a-vis shoppers. The rise of malls in urban Turkey In the 1980s, the process of economic liberalisation in Turkey led to a shift in pre- Vlous policies of protectionist import substitution to a new development strategy 73
74 FRAGMENTS OF CULTURE based on the promotion of domestic export industries, and the encouragement of foreign investment. This has led Turkey to open up to the world socio-culturally as well as economically. Alongside these changes there has been a shift from scarcity to abundance in goods and services. In the last decade, big cities witnessed the emergence of new malls and superstores, such as Atakoy Galleria (Istanbul, in 1988), Atakul/e (Ankara, in 1989), .Karum (Ankara, in 1991), Metro (Ankara, in 1990), Kipa (Izmir, in 1994), Carrefou'r (Istanbul, in 1993), Carrousel (Istanbul, in 1995), Akm‘erkez (Istanbul, in 1995), Outlet Centre (Izmit, in 1997), Bauhfus (Istanbul, in 1996). These are ultra-modern buildings developed either in the heart of upper-middle-class neighbourhoods or on the outskirts of the city, which can be only reached by car.
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- Spring '14
- Shopping mall, Istanbul