UB Sociologist Special Guest At Euro Business Forum

Release Date: October 20, 1998 This content is archived.


BUFFALO, N.Y. -- Mark Gottdiener of Amherst, professor and chair of the Department of Sociology at the University at Buffalo, recently was an invited speaker at a meeting of major businesses engaged in the development of tourism and themed environments in Europe.

The forum, which was held in Barcelona, Spain, included executives from EuroDisney, Warner Bros., The Hard Rock Cafe and other major developers of new tourist spaces.

Gottdiener believes that in America, the preoccupation with themed environments is due, in large part, to the fact that these spaces sell an experience, specifically, the pedestrian urban experience that has declined as large American cities have hit the skids.

He has written extensively on the significance of themed environments and is also an internationally regarded expert on urban affairs, cultural studies, cultural semiotics and popular culture. He has written or edited 10 books on these topics. The most recent, "The Theming of America: Dreams, Visions and Commercial Spaces," examines America's popular "themed environments" that include airports, malls and casinos, as well as theme parks.

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