Land use planning, supermarkets and reciprocated ideologies : the construction and mediation of articulated discourses 1979-1999
A cultural studies approach is applied to an analysis of land-use planning theory and practice to seek a holistic understanding of events struggling in praxis to construct ideologies and paradigms about the supermarket phenomenon, in a post- Fordist age. This links interests shared and contested by Govemment and key parties as agents of social change, including Sainsbury's as a typification of the supermarket business and the planners' professional body. The thesis challenges positivist assumptions embodying tenets of classical economic theory and rationalist, empirical methodology. It focuses on attempts to achieve ideological hegemony by the re-articulation of common sense explanations through everyday events mediated by late industrial capitalism's commodification process. The nature of the post-modernist dialectic centred on Capital's modernisation project favouring a new service economy is explored in relation to an organic interplay between ideas and action, and the linking of planning theory to reification. The nature of ideological code systems in relation to retail land-use planning, as a feature of culture and their discursive role in an ongoing struggle for power and dominance, is evaluated in the deconstruction of historical and contemporary texts. A new concept of dialectical pluralism is offered which acknowledges the dynamic construction of ideologies and paradigms between parties in everyday relational experience. The methodology offers a wide, topic-based inductive research focus taking the four poles of Government, the planning profession, academia and the business sector at points of apparent harmony and disjuncture, to review the means by which events in time and space are struggled for to establish ideological hegemony. A priority is to compare and contrast assumptions underpinning the training of land-use planners that reward or inhibit vested and less defined interests, including those legitimising and funding professional research projects.