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29-09-2020 | Empirical Study / Analysis | Issue 4/2020

Human Studies 4/2020

Being-in-the-Apple-store: a genetic phenomenological sociology of space

Journal:
Human Studies > Issue 4/2020
Author:
Vincent Qing Zhang
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Abstract

This study develops a genetic phenomenological sociology of space from the phenomenology and phenomenological sociology of space. Based on relational ontology, it argues that social space is a social relationship in genesis. An Apple walk-in store and an Apple online store are examples to illustrate the essence of social space. Any Apple store as a social space represents a set of social relations. The genetic phenomenological sociology of space in both store types includes two parts: first, the social ontology of space, that is, ‘being-in-the-Apple-store’ or ‘being-in-the-Apple-online-store’; and second, the social epistemology of space, that is, the act of ‘encountering’ in either store. Examining the existence of space ontologically and the mode of existence epistemologically clarifies that the actual ‘meaning’ of social space, an Apple store or an Apple online store in this study, emerges through the act of encountering. Three characteristics of encountering are placelessness, ‘de-distancing,’ and mediation.

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