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Amazon Country: Platform Logistics and Landscapes of Fulfilment

Maddock-James, Joel John (2023) Amazon Country: Platform Logistics and Landscapes of Fulfilment. Doctoral thesis, York St John University.

Text (Doctoral thesis)
MADDOCK-JAMES JOEL Amazon Country - Platform Logistics and Landscapes of Fulfilment.pdf - Published Version
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This thesis identifies a spatial gap in literature researching the corporation and platform Amazon, sought through a theoretical analysis into the emergence of logistical space as an organising principle in the post-industrial economy. This comes in addition to a local probe into Amazon’s distribution facilities in Tees Valley in the North East of England that make up part of its UK ‘fulfilment network’. It finds that there is a pattern and formula to Amazon’s monopolising platform power that can be brought to bear through an applied reading of spatial sociology, Marxist geography, cargomobilities, infrastructure studies, and landscape urbanism. It draws attention to the landscapes behind the concept of the ubiquitous ‘everything store’ that Amazon strives to make a reality, defining these landscapes as a peripheral assemblage of physical distribution centres linked to a single digital interface through which Amazon customers are able retrieve a smorgasbord of products at almost instantaneous speeds. The analysis will show how this linking between interface and distribution network mobilises various digital technologies, geographical spaces and supply-chain infrastructures to create what to customers appears as a seamless and weightless experience of delivery, but what is really a creatively destructive method to accumulate capital in the post-industrial economy based on treating space as a means of production and time as money. For this reason, the research argues that the ‘everything store’ is an assault on the architectural and urban basis of society because it has become a driving force in how we plan our towns, our cities, and (especially) those bits in between. That force, it will conclude, cannot be one for good, since it is indifferent to the injury and exploitation that Amazon workers encounter when fulfilling orders, all the while creating a world in which we pay no attention to departures or journeys and all that they entail.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Status: Published
Subjects: H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
School/Department: York Business School
URI: https://ray.yorksj.ac.uk/id/eprint/7907

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