Event—Tour

John Arroyo, MIT

John Arroyo: Where Commerce Meets Culture:;Immigrant Space and Suburban Retail in the New Latino South

John Arroyo

Where Commerce Meets Culture: Immigrant Space and Suburban Retail in the New Latino South

While it may seem that traditional shopping malls are dying, immigrant communities are reviving distressed retail spaces as critical sites for adaptation. Nowhere is this phenomenon more acute than in small cities in the metropolitan periphery. At the same time, Latino/as are bypassing historic ethnic enclaves to settle in suburban areas – especially in the U.S. South. Developers have capitalized on their cultural preferences by constructing generic Latino/a-themed malls – with varying levels of success. This project draws on the spatial ideals of Latino urbanism to analyze how suburban retail aesthetics affect Mexican immigrant agency in four Latino-themed malls in greater Atlanta.