Cosmopolitanism and Its Sociomaterial Construction in the Servicescape

Bernardo Figueiredo, Jonathan Bean, Hanne Pico Larsen

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This chapter addresses the way the market and the servicescape provides resources to enact cosmopolitan ideology, embody cosmopolitan characteristics, or participate in cosmopolitan practices. It thereby contributes to understandings of the sociomaterial inscriptions of cosmopolitanism as related to retail brand ideology, branded and themed spaces. By examining cosmopolitanism as an ideology that informs the servicescape, we suggest a shift away from understanding the consumption of cosmopolitanism as a descriptive inventory of consumer traits, preferences, and behaviors, to instead understanding cosmopolitanism as a value proposition―a ludic space where cosmopolitan consumers can identify with and exercise their cosmopolitan tastes and practices. We explore how the servicescape transforms when it is charged with cosmopolitanism through an investigation of the celebrity chef Marcus Samuelsson, who claims Ethiopian, Swedish, and American identities, and the spatial and visual strategies that configure cosmopolitanism in his restaurant Red Rooster Harlem. Our findings draw from interviews with Samuelsson, representations of Samuelsson and the Red Rooster Harlem in the popular media, Samuelsson’s own cookbooks, and analysis of the floor plan and design of Samuelsson’s restaurant. By analyzing how the servicescape offers narrative templates and resources for cosmopolitan consumers’ experience and re-construction of identity, we link current thinking about cosmopolitanism with the sociomaterial construction of the servicescape and open new avenues for understanding ideological servicescapes.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationCosmopolitanism, Markets, and Consumption : A Critical Global Perspective
EditorsJulie Emontspool, Ian Woodward
Number of pages30
Place of PublicationCham
PublisherPalgrave Macmillan
Publication date2018
ISBN (Print)9783319641782
ISBN (Electronic)9783319641799
Publication statusPublished - 2018

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