Themed Space

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The Themed Space: Locating Culture, Nation, and Self is the first edited collection focused on the significance of the theme space. The first section of the text discusses the ways in which theming acts as a form of authenticity. Included are articles on the theme park Dollywood, the historic Coney Island, the uses of theming in Flagstaff, Arizona, and the Las Vegas Strip. Section two considers theming as a reflection of nation, and its authors focus on Chinese theme parks and shopping malls, the Lost City theme park in South Africa, and the Ain Diab resort district in Casablanca. The third section of the book illustrates how theming often targets the person—whether famous or everyday. The authors look at spaces ranging from the Liverpool John Lennon Airport, love hotels in Japan, and the Houston, Texas theme park AstroWorld. The final section emphasizes theming as a projection of the mind and psychology. The authors focus on behind-the-scenes tourism at Universal Studios and the Ford Rouge Factory Tour, the use of theming in unexpected spaces like Florida themed clinics, theming in virtual reality spaces of video games, and the social controversies related to theming in various parts of the world. The book includes a comprehensive bibliography on theming and a list of key terms. The Themed Space is of great interest to students of all levels and scholars of anthropology, urban studies and sociology.

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Editorial Reviews

Theoretically rich and richly demonstrated by appropriate case studies...the ideas are great! Highly recommended.
Allen F. Roberts
Georges Bataille once wrote that people need the strange, and now you too can get your fix of it at Dollywood or Dracula World, a Star Trek dentist office or toilet-themed restaurant, the Hawg Heaven Biker Bar or any number of Japanese love hotels. Here are fifteen anthropological studies of the theming, scheming, stimulating simulation of today's Vegasified consumerism. The subject matter of this audacious collection will be appalling to some and enthralling to others; but the book is riveting reading, for it is, after all, all about all of us.
Theoretically rich and richly demonstrated by appropriate case studies...the ideas are great! Highly recommended.
George E. Marcus
After decades of cultural studies work on themed parks,I was surprised to be so moved by the freshness and originality of this collection, while being impressed with the depth of insight and careful review of a whole generation of literature that it offers. I have long been impressed by the quirky originality of Scott Lukas's thought which has left an impressive guiding mark on this volume of new talent in cultural analysis.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780739121412
  • Publisher: Lexington Books
  • Publication date: 7/1/2007
  • Pages: 348
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.94 (d)

Meet the Author

Scott A. Lukas is a professor in the Department of Anthropology and Sociology at Lake Tahoe College.

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Table of Contents

Chapter 1 The Themed Space: Locating Culture, Nation, and Self Chapter 2 Torque: Dollywood, Pigeon Forge, and Authentic Feelings in the Smoky Mountains Chapter 3 Luna Park's Fantasy World and Deamland's White City: Fire Spectacles at Coney Island as Elemental Performativity Chapter 4 From Downtown to Theme Town: Reinventing America's Smaller Historic Retail Districts Chapter 5 Theming as a Sensory Phenomenon: Discovering the Senses on the Las Vegas Strip Chapter 6 The Landscape of Power: Imagineering Consumer Behavior at China's Theme Parks Chapter 7 Theming Mythical Africa at The Lost City Chapter 8 Leisure Space: Thematic Style and Cultural Exclusion in Casablanca Chapter 9 "Above Us Only Sky": Themes, Simulations, and Liverpool John Lennon Airport Chapter 10 Love Hotels: Sex and the Rhetoric of Themed Spaces Chapter 11 How the Theme Park Gets Its Power: Lived Theming, Social Control, and the Themed Worker Self Chapter 12 Behind-the-Scenes Space: Promoting Production in a Landscape of Consumption Chapter 13 The Experience of a Lifestyle Chapter 14 Themed Environments and Virtual Spaces: Video Games, Violent Play, and Digital Enemies Chapter 15 A Politics of Reverence and Irreverence: Social Discourse on Theming Controversies

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