Spatial and Temporal Structures of Inequality in the Super-Urbanized World. Flow-Structures of Glam-Capitalism and New Configurations of Inequality

Monday, July 14, 2014: 2:45 PM
Room: 503
Oral Presentation
Dmitry IVANOV , Faculty of sociology, St Petersburg State University, Russia
The economy and society in networked enclaves of globality – super-urbanized areas like Los Angeles, New York, Tokyo, Hong Kong, Moscow, London, Buenos Aires etc., are considered as glam-capitalism. Preconditions for new form of capitalism have been generated by virtualization of social structures. By the 2000s intensive commoditization of images had leaded to overbranding and triviality of the virtualization strategy that has provoked shift of competitive advantages to hyper-virtuality of glamour. Being since the 1930s specific life style or aesthetic form, glamour has become now rationality of newest version of capitalism. Glam-capitalism raises when producers at the hyper-competitive market place must glamour consumers and when goods / services must be aggressively beautiful to be intensively attractive for targeted groups. Value creation process now is related more to trends, than to brands, not only in traditional fashion industry and show business but also in high-tech and financial industries.  At the century edge the ‘lemon-like’ stratification with dominant middle strata is replaced by the ‘pear-like’ bimodal stratification. Another impact of the glam-capitalism on social inequality is its temporality: with importance of access to consumer trends traditional quantitative gap between ‘having more’ and ‘having less’ is replaced by the temporal lag between ‘having now’ and ‘having later’. Structures of glam-capitalism are characterized as flow-structures which generate coordination of participants through intensity of moves and penetrate boundaries created by traditional institutional structures and by network structures of recent decades. Emerging flow-structures reshape configuration of social inequality traditionally based on institutional regulation of access to material / symbolic resources according to social status. Three types of inequality are represented in current practices of discrimination, social conflicts, and social policies: 1) institutional inequality based on social status, 2) networked inequality based on personal identity, 3) flow-inequality based on personal mobility / creativity.