Lizabeth Cohen's Article Commerce: Reconfiguring Community Market Analysis

763 Words 4 Pages
American’s today are the definition of consumers. Each day billions of dollars are spent across the country at shopping malls, department stores, specialty stores, and restaurants located within these consumerist havens. Are shopping centers today however, the civic centers that they should have been? Or are there clear elements of market segmentation and class differentiation present in the malls that American’s have grown so affectionate towards? Using Lizabeth Cohen’s article “Commerce: Reconfiguring Community Marketplace” this short essay will attempt to grasp and understanding of the segmentation of what shopping centers were meant to be, to what they are in modern day society. According to Cohen, “Faced with slim retail offerings nearby, many new suburbanites of the 1940’s and 1950’s continued to depend on the big …show more content…
With the anomaly of a particular few states, the rights of private property have overridden the first amendment rights of people within shopping centers. The original purpose of these “civic centers” was to perfect the downtown environment. If one is to go these downtown centers, the right to publicly protest and exert ones right to free speech is legally available. The same regrettably cannot be said for most suburban civic centers. As Cohen articulates, ”An unintended consequence of the American shift in orientation from public town center to private shopping center, then, has been the narrowing of the ground where constitutionally protected free speech and free assembly can legally take place,” (Cohen, 277). This statement clearly corroborates the view that what was once meant to be a market square in history, a modern day civic center for communities throughout the country, has been replaced with a pure hub of

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