Death of buildings in consumer culture : natural death, architectural murder and cultural rape

Anderson, Stephanie and Tonner, Andrea and Hamilton, Kathy (2017) Death of buildings in consumer culture : natural death, architectural murder and cultural rape. Consumption, Markets and Culture, 20 (5). pp. 387-402. ISSN 1025-3866

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    Abstract

    We propose that focusing on the death of buildings has much to offer in terms of our understanding of consumer culture. The aim of this paper is to explore the death of buildings from the perspective of consumers who have an interest in exploring obsolete buildings. Drawing on an ethnographic study of urban exploration, we uncover consumer understandings of death and mortality. We make a number of contributions. First, we demonstrate how death terminology is appropriate to material culture. Second, we reveal how consumer fascination with derelict buildings opens up opportunities for otherwise suppressed thoughts and conversations about death. Third, we recognise the multidimensional nature of death and introduce the concept of cultural death in consumer culture.