Steve joined Brighton from the University of Liverpool where he was part of the management group of Impacts 08, the research programme designed to assess the social, cultural and economic impacts of European Capital of Culture. Perhaps the most bizarre experience of his academic career was presenting the proposal for Impacts 08 to a panel chaired by Loyd Grossman.
Steve previously worked at Northumbria University where he was Head of Research for the Centre for Cultural Policy and Management and where he conducted a large-scale research project into the impact of cultural investment on Newcastle Gateshead Quayside. Many years previously Steve undertook his PhD in the Behavioural Sciences Department at the University of Huddersfield in which he was concerned with the relationship between consumption and identity amongst young people.
Engaging directly with the social, economic and cultural processes that have resulted in our cities being defined through consumption this vibrant book clearly demonstrates the ways in which consumption has come to play a key role in the re-invention of the post-industrial city
The book provides a critical understanding of how consumption redefines the consumers' relationship to place using empirical examples and case studies to bring the issues to life. It discusses many of the key spaces and arenas in which this redefinition occurs including:
shopping themed space mega-events architecture
Developing the notion of 'contrived communality' Steven Miles outlines the ways in which consumption, alongside the emergence of an increasingly individualized society, constructs a new kind of relationship with the public realm.
Clear, sophisticated and dynamic this book will be essential reading for students and researchers alike in sociology, human geography, architecture, planning, marketing, leisure and tourism, cultural studies and urban studies.
"You will not read a more important book about America this year."—The Economist
"A riveting book."—The Wall Street Journal
"Essential reading."—David Brooks, New York Times
Hillbilly Elegy is a passionate and personal analysis of a culture in crisis—that of white working-class Americans. The disintegration of this group, a process that has been slowly occurring now for more than forty years, has been reported with growing frequency and alarm, but has never before been written about as searingly from the inside. J. D. Vance tells the true story of what a social, regional, and class decline feels like when you were born with it hung around your neck.
The Vance family story begins hopefully in postwar America. J. D.’s grandparents were “dirt poor and in love,” and moved north from Kentucky’s Appalachia region to Ohio in the hopes of escaping the dreadful poverty around them. They raised a middle-class family, and eventually one of their grandchildren would graduate from Yale Law School, a conventional marker of success in achieving generational upward mobility. But as the family saga of Hillbilly Elegy plays out, we learn that J.D.'s grandparents, aunt, uncle, sister, and, most of all, his mother struggled profoundly with the demands of their new middle-class life, never fully escaping the legacy of abuse, alcoholism, poverty, and trauma so characteristic of their part of America. With piercing honesty, Vance shows how he himself still carries around the demons of his chaotic family history.
A deeply moving memoir, with its share of humor and vividly colorful figures, Hillbilly Elegy is the story of how upward mobility really feels. And it is an urgent and troubling meditation on the loss of the American dream for a large segment of this country.
The book identifies the key themes of contemporary social theory: mass society, postindustrialism, consumerism, postmodernism, McDonaldization, risk and globalization, and uses the insights of both classical and contemporary theorists of social change to highlight the potential of imaginative theorizing.