year 5, Issue 1 (Spring & Summer 2020)                   CIAUJ 2020, 5(1): 73-86 | Back to browse issues page

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Pirbabei M T, Fathalibiglou M. Urban Cultural Consumption: A Comparative Analysis of the Culture of Consumption in Western and Islamic Cities. CIAUJ. 2020; 5 (1) :73-86
1- Associate Professor, Faculty of Architecture and Urbanism, Tabriz Islamic Art University, Tabriz, Iran. ,
2- PhD Candidate in Islamic Urbanism, Faculty of Architecture and Urbanism, Tabriz Islamic Art University, Iran.
Abstract:   (679 Views)
The modern city cannot be conceived without its pro­ductive role and the postmodern city without consid­ering its consumption role. Consumption is at the ideological core of the contemporary city, and one can thus say that the contemporary city is experienc­ing a transformation that is comparable in scale to the industrial revolution. Nowadays, consumption is the main tool and force of economic and social change and an essential element in the construction of urban spaces; it also plays a vital role in shaping the identity and lifestyle of individuals. In the postmodern city not only goods and services but also public and semi-pub­lic spaces are consumed, and the consumption role has become so pervasive in all aspects of the city that it has become an integral part of postmodern urban life. As such, one of the new and noteworthy features of the postmodern city is the consumption of urban spaces and places and the key role of design in this process, the examples of which are clearly visible in the Iranian city. A glance at the contemporary Iranian city shows its move to integrate with the global con­sumer economy and society and its capitalist system. However, the application of consumption theories in Iranian society with regard to the particular Iranian-Islamic cultural context must be exercised with cau­tion because cultural values play an important role in consumption patterns. Accordingly, it is necessary to examine the characteristics of the cultural consump­tion of the city and to explain the components and dimensions of the Western and Iranian consumer city in the postmodern world. In this study a realistic ap­proach and comparative study method is used to ex­plain the consumer city in western culture and compare it with Islamic culture. To achieve the cul­tural study components of the postmodern city (com­paring criteria), Lefebvre’s three-dimensional analysis of the production of space was used as the primary model (Lefebvre described perceived, conceived, and lived space as three dimensions of Social space which has dialectical interrelationships). Then, cultural con­sumption study framework of the postmodern city was extracted from the above model. Based on the above framework, the study of cultural consumption in the western city is conducted and then finally based on the credit theory of Allameh Tabataba’i (the late Allameh, unlike many others, credits a part of cul­ture to the non-human, fixed and other parts of na­ture,  which, depending on the temporal and spatial necessities of existence, are considered to be variable. In other words,  part of culture is considered human and universal, and parts of it are deemed social, his­torical or temporal). The above components have been explained in Islamic culture. The results of the study show that the consumption-oriented Western life is based on self-interest and encouragement to consume more (in order to preserve the survival of the capitalist system), while in Islamic culture and teachings the collective interest takes precedence over the individual. Therefore, since the culture and the city support one another, the Islamic city will need its own urban space for community excellence.
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