The Formation of Identity in Teenage Mall Microculture: A Case Study of Teenagers in Czech Malls Cover Image

The Formation of Identity in Teenage Mall Microculture: A Case Study of Teenagers in Czech Malls
The Formation of Identity in Teenage Mall Microculture: A Case Study of Teenagers in Czech Malls

Author(s): Jana Spilková, Lucie Radová
Subject(s): Social Sciences
Published by: Sociologický ústav AV ČR, v.v.i.
Keywords: teenagers; hanging out; spatial microculture; geography of children and youth; shopping mall; Czech Republic

Summary/Abstract: Geographies of children and youth are a surprisingly neglected research topic in the transforming (post-communist) countries, where many societal changes are taking place. This article introduces a research project that focused on teenagers and their leisure-time activities, concentrating especially on teenagers who spend the majority of their leisure time in shopping malls. The goal of the article is to reveal how such teenagers use the micro-space of the shopping mall, how they socialise, and how their social identities may be produced through different practices in the mall space. The study focused on teenagers aged 14–17 ‘hanging out’ in shopping malls in the largest Czech cities. The data were collected by participant observation and interviews. The teenagers studied have abandoned typical public spaces used for leisure time and produced their own spatial identities in the specific space of the shopping mall. They have created a true microculture through a combination of the personalities, locations, and events that they share in in the mall environment. The article also discusses interesting results concerning preference factors for leisure time activities in the mall environment. The concluding part of the article draws implications from the study for the future research agenda in the geographies and sociologies of youth.

  • Issue Year: 47/2011
  • Issue No: 03
  • Page Range: 565-586
  • Page Count: 22
  • Language: English