AsianForum 119th "Konbini: Towards an Anthropology of an Emergent Global Retail Template"Thursday,March 12,2009
Tuesday, May 12, 2009
Room 252, Diffendorfer Memorial Hall West Wing, ICUGavin H. Whitelaw (ギャヴィン H． ホワイトロウ)
Anthropology, Associate Professor, ICU
“Konbini: Towards an Anthropology of an Emergent Global Retail Template”
Within a global commercial landscape dominated by Wal-Mart and its mega-store rivals, the konbini has risen as a formidable retailer and for-profit arbiter of culture. Yet konbini are the antithesis of what anthropologists typically take as their object of inquiry. They epitomize standardized simplicity by relieving small retail of obligation, entailment, and affect. In the following presentation I explore the global reach and cultural implications of this “Japanese” retail form.