Response to articles-(mall experience)


Responses to:

Transforming Social Spaces: Female Identity and the Mall

The Full MOA-Living in the MOA




            The article Transforming Social Spaces: Female Identity and the Mall mentioned that the design of malls were carefully planned to create the consumer.  These are intentional planning that are thought of to target a certain group of the population, the middle class and women.  As a shopper, I did not realize this until I read the article.  Advertisements are put out to tell us what we want as the consumer.  These designs teach us how to be a consumer.  How do we know what we want?  The big poster hanging of the window of Charlotte Russe may tell women the "ideal" fashion they need.  As mentioned in the article, the advanced technology allows department stores to have televisions playing around.  The television playing a commercial on the new mop may tell women what they want as a new addition to their home.  We are surrounded by a design that allows us to continue to consume and want to consume.

            Matt Savders spent a week living in the Mall of America, and had a once in a lifetime experience.  By the end, he was counting seconds.  Why was his experience not so good?  I think this could be because he was not a woman.  Women are a big target of these corporations.  It could be because of their roles, being the "assumed" individual that does that kind of thing.  Had Matt been a woman, his experience would have been a lot better.  He would have spent more time on trying on clothing, and going through the different fragrance stores.  This goes back to the design of the mall.  Aside from the Mall of America, smaller malls in the cities do not have many stores made for men.  There is the occasional Mens' Footlocker and Mens' Express Store, but what else is really there. 

            According to my experience, I find going to the mall as something convenient.  I know I can go into many stores and find what I want.  My fiancĂ©, on the other hand, think it is a waste of time and money.  I've only been to the Mall of America a hand full of time, but still feel I have not gone through all the stores yet.  Why? Having that kind of experience takes a lot of foot ache and money. 

            Relating this to the educational experience, I think schools are institutions similar to these big corporations.  Although it was not an intention, I think we also teach our students how to be students, like how consumers are taught to be consumers.  How does a student know he/she would have to raise their hand before talking, or come home and do their homework?  In other words, we shape our students like how consumers are shaped. 


Ok, I never even thought about that. Matt's experience was shaped largely by his sex! That whole "it was fun until ..." I totally agree that -- at least my stereotype of us -- a woman would not have hated it as much.

You said something like, we'd be trying on clothes, testing perfumes, i was thinking -- OH YES! How cool to have total permission to go to any store and try stuff on just because. I LOVE that idea. And yes, let's add some time at the cosmetics counter, too.

I'm still reacting to my (and other female classmates) reaction to our "sex" being criticized for our shopping propensity. I just got done criticizing gamers for not recognizing their own sexism and I'm thinking I should turn that gaze inward!

Hello Mai,

On shopping at great length, I would agree with you that women may have more shops to go to at MOA and may find greater satisfaction over long stints of time going from store to store. I would go bonkers after seven days there, and when I do go there with my wife, she can look longer than I can without getting bored.

However, I am a recovering spend-a-holic and there are enough clothing, music, book, specialty stores, and department stores where the hooks of identity and pleasure of acquisition and fantasy of style transport me to a state where I spend more than I should.

Just a note and admission that some of us men are also hooked on shopping and buying identity. I will not criticize women one bit for being caught in the merchandising fantasy world of fulfillment, I have been caught in that web many times and its an ongoing battle to resist it.

As a thought from one of my blog buddies, Megan, could we teach our students to be creators and producers of knowledge rather than consumers of it? Then could they break free of control and change the world for the better?

Best to you,


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This page contains a single entry by Mai Yer published on September 27, 2009 8:22 PM.

Response to 3 videos and 1 critique was the previous entry in this blog.

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