Shopping and entertainment center as space making quality of life in Russia

Shopping and entertainment center as space making quality of life in Russia

Ilyin V.I.

Dr. Sci. (Soc.), Professor, Department of Sociology of Culture and Сommunication, Saint-Petersburg State University, Saint-Petersburg, Russia ivi‑

Choi W.I.

PhD in Sociology, Professor of Institute of Russian Studies, Hankuk University of Foreign Studies, Seul, Republic of Korea

ID of the Article:

For citation:

Ilyin V.I., Choi W.I. Shopping and entertainment center as space making quality of life in Russia. Sotsiologicheskie issledovaniya [Sociological Studies]. 2017. No 4. P. 82-90


Shopping is an almost universal characteristic of public and private life. Consumer behavior is a set of relatively stable configurations of the micro-level practices that reflect the essential characteristics of social contexts of different scales. Its historical evolution proceeds from the purchase of a single product to the purchase of lifestyle scenes in the shopping form in shopping centers (malls). In Russia, this process coincided with the belated transition from deficit society to the formation of a consumer society (1990–2000-ies.). A new type of society, which has an attribute of shopping and entertainment (SEC), is focal and disseminated within the logic of social and territorial hierarchy: from the capital to the regional centers, and from them to the remote area. Currently, this process has reached the regional capitals, soaking into the district centers. Under the new conditions the nature and extent of shopping are one of the most important indicators of quality of life (the important issue is not only what people are buying, but also how they do it). The article provides a review of this process on the basis of secondary analysis of statistical data and field research in a number of regional centers of the European part of Russia.

shopping and entertainment centers; shopping malls; consumption; consumerism; shopping; quality of life


Benjamin W. (1997) Charles Baudelaire: A Lyric Poet in the Era of High Capitalism. New York, London: Verso Books.

Benjamin W. (1999) The Arcades Project. Cambridge, Mass and London, Belknap Harvard.

Benjamin W. (2006) The Writer of Modern Life: Essays on Charles Baudelaire. Harvard University Press.

Danziger P.N. (2006) Shopping: Why We Love It and How Retailers Can Create the Ultimate Customer Experience. Dearborn Trade, A Kaplan Professional Company.

Gurova O.U. (2011) Shoping, odezhda i tipologiya potrebiteleῐ v Sankt-Peterburge [Shopping, Clothing and typology of consumers in St. Petersburg]. Zhurnal sociologii i socialnoῐ ̆ antropologii. No.5: 129–140. (In Russ.).

Il’ina M.A., Il’in V.I. (2000) Rossijskij bazar: social’naja organizacija i marketing. [Russian market: the social organization and marketing]. Syktyvkar: Publisher SyktSU (In Russ.).

Ilyin V. The Soviet Ruling Stratum as an Agent of Social Transformation/ ed. Best, Heinrich, Ronald Gebauer, Axel Salheiser, Elites and Social Change. The Socialist and Post Socialist Experience. Hamburg: Krämer, 2009. (In Russ.).

Ilyin V.I. (2011) Sovetskij konsjumerizm kak faktor social’noj strukturacii obshchestva deficit. [Soviet consumerism as a factor of social structuration deficit society]. In: Sociologija vchera, segodnja, zavtra. IV sociologicheskie chtenija pamjati Valerija Borisovicha Golofasta [Sociology of yesterday, today and tomorrow. IV Sociological Readings in memory of Valery Borisovich Golofastov]. Saint Petersburg: The Sociological institute of the Russian Academy of Science] (In Russ.).

Ilyin V.I. (2014) Dualnost struktur individual’nogo potreblenija v istoricheskoj dinamike: ot sovetskogo k postsovetskomu obshсhestvu. [Duality of structures of individual consumption in the historical dynamics: from Soviet to post-Soviet society] Moscow: Labirint. (In Russ.).

Kornai J. (1980) Economics of Shortage. Amsterdam: North-Holland,

Kornai J. (1992) The Socialist System. The Political Economy of Communism. Princeton: Princeton University Press and Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Mikhailova O.I., Gurova O. Ju. (2009) Potrebitel’ v molle: mezhdu svobodoj vybora i prostranstvennymi ogranichenijami. [Consumers in the mall: between freedom of choice and space constraints]. Zhurnal sociologii i socialnoῐ antropologii. No.1. (In Russ.).

Monin A. A. Istorija razvitija torgovli v Rossii. [The history of the development of trade in Russia] (accessed 19.05.2015). URL:‑]

Ritzer G. (2011) The McDonaldization of society. Moscow: Pracsys. (In Russ.).

Seal B. Baudelaire. “Benjamin and the Birth of the Flâneur ”// Psychogeographical Review 14.11.2013. [Электронный ресурс]. URL:

Uberti D. The Death of the American Mall. The Guardian. June 19. 2014.

Weber M. (1990) Ausgewählte Schriften. Moscow: Progress.

Zhelnina A. From Barakholka to Shopping Mall: Transformation of Retail Spaces in St. Petersburg. Anthropology of East Europe Review. 2009. № 1 (27).

Zukin S. The Point of Purchase. How Shopping Changed American Culture. New York, London: Routledge, 2004.

Content No 4, 2017