Shopping/Reading Quiz- Lindsay Fekete

Posted: February 8, 2012 in Uncategorized

After reading the Fiske article and while on my shopping adventure to White Oaks Mall in London, I immediately made the connection to the metaphor of cathedrals and consumption, or consumerism as a religion.  As I watched people walk up and down the aisles of the mall observing signs like “buy two, get one free” or “50% off entire store” I connected this to Fiske as he mentioned like religious congregations, powerless and led like sheep through the rituals and meanings, forced to buy the truth on the offer, all the truth and not selective bits of it. We get persuaded to buy all of these products but do we actually know if we are getting the deal they say they are giving us or what the story is behind how these goods get to be sold in our malls in the first place. Another aspect which I could strongly relate to in this article was when Fiske writes that anyone can obtain a free ticket to go shopping, it admits everyone. It can seem as though there are no conditions and everyone is equal and welcome to partake in the activity of shopping. However, it strikes me as surprising because as Fiske points out, this is not the case. Not everyone can afford to go on small shopping sprees. Only certain people have this “purchasing power.”  As I was passing by the food court there was a scruffy looking man, who I would assume was poor or maybe even homeless  as he had very dirty clothes on, a coffee in hand and the remainder of his change laying on the table. I could not help but think why he would sit in a mall and just watch hundreds of people buying themselves all these goods, when he likely cannot for himself. However Fiske says that 80 percent of unemployed young people visit malls at least once a week. So why can’t this man? It is actually interesting to see all that happens within a mall that we may not pay attention to had we not been assigned this reading and exercise.

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