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Is Disneyland a Non-Place?


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A brief analysis of Disneyland in relation to Marc Auge\'s theory of supermodernity and non-place.

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Is Disneyland a Non-Place?

  1. 1. Is Disneyland a Non-Place? Marc Auge
  2. 2. How is Non-Place Defined? <ul><li>Polar opposite of anthropological place </li></ul><ul><li>NOT historical </li></ul><ul><li>NOT relational </li></ul><ul><li>NOT concerned with identity </li></ul>
  3. 3. Is Disneyland Historical? <ul><li>It does not integrate earlier places (the past) </li></ul><ul><li>--> was built from ‚scratch‘, created out of nowhere </li></ul>
  4. 4. Is Disneyland Historical? <ul><li>„ Anaheim California was the spot chosen to hold a mountain, rivers and the other various ideas Disneyland now contains.“ ( </li></ul>
  5. 5. Is Disneyland Historical? <ul><li>BUT: with time Disneyland has changed and evolved </li></ul><ul><li>So could it be that Disneyland started as a non-place and has evolved into a place? </li></ul>
  6. 6. Is Disneyland Relational? <ul><li>Do we have relations with the people in Disneyland other than the group we arrive with? </li></ul>
  7. 7. Is Disneyland Relational? <ul><li>THE CHARACTERS </li></ul><ul><li>What do our interactions and relationships with them look like? </li></ul><ul><li>--> 3.9.5:08 </li></ul>
  8. 8. Is Disneyland Relational? <ul><li>THE RIDES </li></ul><ul><li>Relationships to staff --> 1.1.2:28 </li></ul><ul><li>they give row directions </li></ul><ul><li>welcome you as explorers </li></ul><ul><li>--> pure instructional and entertaining </li></ul><ul><li>--> there is no interaction between the visitor and the staff, since the staff‘s behavior is scripted and in most cases it is instructional rather than being an interaction </li></ul>
  9. 9. Is Disneyland Relational? <ul><li>THE RIDES </li></ul><ul><li>Relationships to the rides themselves </li></ul><ul><ul><li>most instructions are visual (boards, films) or auditory (loudspeaker announcement) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>2.13, 1.2.3:36, 1.29 </li></ul></ul>
  10. 10. Is Disneyland Relational? <ul><ul><li>we watch interactions of animatronics with other animatronics --> 1.18.19:08, 1.19.19:32, 1.25 </li></ul></ul>
  11. 11. Is Disneyland Relational? <ul><ul><li>we even engage in interactions with animatronics --> film astro blasters </li></ul></ul>
  12. 12. Is Disneyland Relational? <ul><li>We engage in behaviors that seem like interactions, but that really aren‘t interactions </li></ul><ul><li>--> Disneyland is not relational </li></ul>
  13. 13. Is Disneyland concerned with Identity? <ul><li>Upon entering Disneyland, we all become visitors in the happiest place on earth </li></ul>
  14. 14. Is Disneyland Concerned with Identity? <ul><li>As a visitor, we sign an invisible contract upon entering Disneyland </li></ul>
  15. 15. Is Disneyland Concerned with Identity? <ul><li>People behave differently inside and outside the gates of Disneyland </li></ul><ul><li>we take pictures, look at characters, don‘t walk on benches, let our kids run around </li></ul>
  16. 16. Is Disneyland Concerned with Identity?
  17. 17. Is Disneyland Concerned with Identity? <ul><li>We are visitors traveling through the lands of Disney, our main activities being moving about and taking everything in </li></ul><ul><li>Disneyland reflects back to us how the perfect traveler should feel and act </li></ul>
  18. 18. Is Disneyland Concerned with Identity?
  19. 19. Is Disneyland Concerned with Identity?
  20. 20. Is Disneyland Concerned with Identity?
  21. 21. Is Disneyland Concerned with Identity?
  22. 22. Is Disneyland Concerned with Identity? <ul><li>We leave our identity at the gates and take up the new identity of being a Disneyland citizen for one day </li></ul><ul><li>--> So Disneyland is not concerned with individual identity, but very concerned with the Disney identity </li></ul>
  23. 23. Conclusions <ul><li>Disneyland is not historical, not relational, and not concerned with identity </li></ul><ul><li>Disneyland was created as a non-place, to be specifically that: a place where you can strip off your identity and enjoy a carefree day </li></ul><ul><li>BUT: Is it still a non-place after existing for 55 years? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>--> there are creation of places and meaningful interactions within this non-place, determined by the behavior and agency of the visitors </li></ul></ul>
  24. 24. Thanks for Listening!
  25. 25. Bibliography <ul><li>Marc Auge - „non-places - introduction to an anthropology of supermodernity“ </li></ul><ul><li>Goffman - stage actor theory </li></ul>