Comparison Of Public Spaces And Disney World

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Seeing Public Space Through Rose-Colored Glasses secondary “Public Space” is a broad term that has evolved over time. Traditionally, the term has meant a shared space in which people come together. They have the freedom to create an experience uninfluenced by commercial interests or other authorities (Hauben). However, in recent decades, the definition of public space has been changed by America’s increasingly consumerist society. These places lose their “publicness”, and many people are unaware of their controlled experiences. I want to explore how commercialized public spaces such as the mall and Disney World are highly manipulated for their visitors. Although they are considered “public”, these places are regulated to exclude aspects…show more content…
For Disney World, the terms “crime” and “waste” do not exist. Its environment is self-policing, prohibiting drug consumption, complete free speech, displays of homosexual or heterosexual affection, and other undesirable elements of society (Borrie, 2013). In addition, trashcans are strategically placed in order to keep the park spotless (Sorkin, 1992). Every night, the streets are blasted by high-powered steam, and the park is perfected with new paint, soil, or shrubbery. In addition, Disney is primarily a place for the white middle class, establishing a socially homogeneous space. According to Chris Rojek, “Disney culture presents the particular and historical form of white, capitalist society as the essential society of reason”(Borrie, 2013). The park displays the values and lifestyle of America’s middle class, and although there is an extent of diversity, the scope of people allowed to enter is restricted (Carmony and Tiesdell, 2007). Disney is considered a public space, but by making visitors pay an expensive fee to enter, this immediately filters out people that are not considered eligible to have access to the park (Zukin, 1998). Therefore, the homeless, urban poor, and outcasts of society are excluded because they can interfere with Disney’s vision of a utopia which edits out the negative elements of an urban experience (Sorkin, 1992). The company wants to hide all…show more content…
In response to such heterogeneous public spaces, Americans have refrained from these places due to the growing separation between people of different economic statuses (Tribune, 2013). The “broken window” syndrome stems from a lack of social control and urban chaos, and in the past, the homeless and urban poor have used graffiti and vandalism to mark their territory in public spaces. The public spirit is also declining to technology’s presence throughout society. The ability to be involved in online shopping, business deals, social media, and other popular activities through technology promotes isolation from public spaces (Banerjee, 2001). People tend to choose being in private spaces and engaged in their technology over being in an environment filled with strangers. Overall, the widening gap between United States citizens and technology’s widespread presence have reduced people’s reliance on public

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