Street art, sweet art? Reclaiming the "Public" in public place

Visconti, Luca Massimiliano; J. F. Jr Sherry; Borghini, Stefania; L., Anderson

Consumer research has paid scant attention to public goods, especially at a time when the contestation between categorizing public and private goods and controlling public goods is pronounced. In this multisited ethnography, we explore the ways in which active consumers negotiate meanings about the consumption of a particular public good, public space. Using the context of street art, we document four main ideologies of public space consumption that result from the interaction, both conflict and common intent, of urban dwellers and street artists. We show how public space can be contested as private and commercialized, or offered back as a collective good, where sense of belonging and dialogue restore it to a meaningful place. We demonstrate how the common nature of space both stimulates dialectical and dialogical exchanges across stakeholders and fuels forms of layered agency. © 2010 by JOURNAL OF CONSUMER RESEARCH, Inc.