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Cecilia Fredriksson.

Cecilia Fredriksson


Cecilia Fredriksson.

Past and Future Embedded in the Present : A Cultural History of a Local Shopping Street


  • Devrim Umut Aslan
  • Cecilia Fredriksson

Summary, in English

Most of the literature accumulated around retail change derive a linear, progressive understanding, typically coined with the term “retail evolution”. Once it is formulated as such, a need for adopting a historical perspective to study present becomes superfluous, because the past is understood as something that is left behind, something incapable of making an impact on the present. In this research, taking a local shopping street, it is showed that present is an assemblage of different material and sensorial layers of past and imagined futures, and the street’s retail history has had a fluctuating, non-linear, circular and accumulative character. Likewise, it has been in dynamic relationship with cultural manifestations of consumers, and also their shopping performances.
Södergatan is the main shopping street of the stigmatized district Söder in Helsingborg, a middle-size city in south Sweden. Söder was established as a working-class district in the mid 19th century, and thereby Södergatan functioned as a retail geography primarily serving the needs of the working-class families living in the area. Starting from the1910s, gradually, more modern retail formats, such as department stores, supermarkets, and national and international chain stores made an entrance, which enabled novel ways of shopping. After the 1980s, along with global trends, independent retailers and service stores expanded in the retail geography once again, this time it was transcultural migrant entrepreneurs who run the retail places. Finally, in the last couple of years, a number of new construction and renovation projects have been initiated in Söder, including a high-class hotel, a bohemian art gallery, and renovation of the old local shopping mall to upscale experience and residential center, which facilitated multiple future scenarios.
The study is based on analysis of written and visual historical documents, and visual ethnographic research conducted on consumers’ shopping performances on the street.


  • Department of Service Studies

Publishing year




Document type

Conference paper: abstract


  • Social Sciences Interdisciplinary


  • Local Shopping Street
  • Local High Street
  • Cultural History
  • Retail History

Conference name

Annual Conference of International Society of Cultural History (ISCH)

Conference date

2018-09-13 - 2018-09-16

Conference place

New York, United States




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