Since I'm leading discussion tomorrow (I think!) i'm saving my most insightful questions for discussion. However, I was struck while reading the first Goss piece for this week. Malls, he argues, are developer's representation of a time and place rooted in nostalgia. By incorporating the trappings of traditional civic spaces, places to meet, linger, and converse with others, in a setting recreating nature, shoppers feel transported to another place in time. As a result, they can justify their consumption behavior, which Goss argues goes against Americans' Puritanical upbringing.
My question arises from analysis of the current generation of consumers who have grown up in a society inundated by malls. Malls have been the substitute for civic spaces for as long as people my age and younger have been alive. As a result, I wonder whether this age cohort truly experiences the nostalgia Goss proposes. Or possibly more interesting, how can we feel nostalgia for something we've never truly experienced? If we do feel nostalgia is it generated by social conceptions, possibly through the use of the trappings of the old town square, and media representations of this previous time period? Or has this age cohort confused civic space with commercial space to the point that the two are one in the same?