Marketing and Parasite Heterotopia

New article in Marketing Theory online first

‘Of counter spaces of provisioning: reframing the sidewalk as a parasite heterotopia’, Dominique Roux, Valérie Guillard, Vivien Blanchet.


This article considers the concept of heterotopia in the context of public space. Based on the observations and interviews with 19 disposers and/or gleaners operating on bulky item collection days, it shows that the sidewalk is (1) a liminal space for unwanted objects that are in transition between disposal and destruction or reappropriation; (2) a regularly practiced space, the meaning of which is redefined by disposers (for depositing) and gleaners (for provisioning); (3) a place of illusion that mirrors the profusion of goods produced by the linear economy; and (4) a space of compensation for the pitfalls of the consumer society. These findings provide a theoretical basis for the new concept of parasite heterotopia, a term that refers to a space that is appropriated by a tactical use of a regulated place, which both reflects and contests a dominant ordering on its own territory. The article adds to previous literature on heterotopias and sustainability by questioning how this “time–space” is involved in the dialectics of capitalism and criticism.


12 October 2017