The spatial dialectics of modernity and retail affect at abasto shopping, Buenos Aires, Argentina

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

External departments

  • University of Arizona


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)843-863
Number of pages21
JournalUrban Geography
Issue number6
Early online date28 Jun 2013
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sep 2013
Externally publishedYes
Publication type

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


The paper is about the political life of a building: the Abasto. Located in what was called the "most porteño" neighborhood in the first part of the 20th century ("porteño" is someone from central Buenos Aires) when it functioned as the city's main food market, the Abasto became a massive shopping mall in 1998 amid rapid neoliberal restructuring. This paper charts the political life of this building in two steps. First, by drawing on theories of socio-spatial dialectics, this paper charts the history of the Abasto as an urban object in a wider political landscape of porteño modernity. Second, by incorporating recent theories of affect and presenting findings from field work carried out at the mall in 2010 and 2011, this paper develops a framework for understanding the politics of consumption in a "post-neoliberal" urban landscape.