Jennifer Nugent – Quiz #2

Posted: February 27, 2014 in Uncategorized

In order to go shopping I went to the closest mall to my parents house in Mississauga. I went in the early afternoon and by the time I was ready to leave, the mall was quite busy. Just after 2:00pm the mall was filled with numerous high school students who had just finished school for the day. Most of the students stood in large groups in the centre of the mall or took up multiple tables in the food court. The important thing I noticed was that not a single one looked like they had any intentions of buying anything yet they definitely did not look like they were in any hurry to get home. This reminded my of Fiske’s “proletariat” shopper or window-shopper who, as we read, would not be at the mall to shop. 

On my way out of the mall I stopped at a small convenience store and I noticed on the door they had a sign that said “only 3 students at a time”. I’m sure many people, myself included, have seen a sign like this before but today I decided to ask the cashier why they had such a sign. He explained to me that the sign is try and prevent theft because a lot of students will come in and walk out with things in their backpacks. He also said that another reason they have the sign is to discourage students who have no intention of buying anything from coming into the store. Having a crowded store prevents the people who actually want to purchase things from coming in. 

This experience made me think about Fiske’s theory of consumption and how it is socially situated. The students that are sitting the mall empty handed are there because they don’t have the income to spend on a daily basis. Therefore, do they hang out at the mall to make them look like they have that kind of money? Do they hang out at the mall to try and appear as if part of a higher social class? It’s an interesting question to consider. 

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