Michael Kiehn – Conspicuous Consumption

Posted: October 27, 2013 in Uncategorized

For this week’s blog quiz I was fortunate enough to observe an abstract form of Conspicuous consumption. This weekend my roommate has his girlfriend in Waterloo; on Saturday she wanted to go shopping at Conestoga mall. I asked what she was going to buy, and she replied with ‘nothing I’m just going to go shop.’ This fascinated me as she was not going to the mall or any of the stores for a specific purchase, and she was not going simply to experience the mall setting but rather her goal was to go to the mall, in order to find something that she wanted to buy.

This behavior, of going to shop not for a need or even a want, but rather going to the mall to generate a want, this from my perspective is conspicuous consumption. She had enough money to simply go to the mall to buy something that she didn’t want before she went there; the goal was to spend money on something that she would find when she got there. Although this does not fall under the traditional definition of conspicuous consumption, I think that it is absolutely related as it is a demonstration of wealth and it also demonstrates how people interact with the mall setting.


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