Summary-reponse to John Fiske Shopping for pleasure: Malls, Power, and Resistance` 1989 pages 306-318
Fiske ‘s Glib Account of Modern Consumerism
John ‘ Fiske ‘s “Shopping for Pleasure : Malls , Power and Resistance seeks to create metaphors out of the modern shopping mall . The first metaphor , borrowed from Pressdee and one which Fiske himself agrees is rather glib , is that of a cathedral which the shoppers come to worship Rather than create such a clichy of shopping as a religion , however Fiske chooses to emphasize the differences between the two . One difference is that a religious congregation is powerless , much like a herd of sheep being led shoppers [banner_entry_middle]
have extreme power – the power to negotiate and the power to discriminate . They can discriminate between malls , stores and the items themselves . Thus , nearly twenty years ago the new product failure rate was 80 percent
Fiske borrows his next metaphor from an advertisement – the admittance ticket – and once again points out the major difference . A ticket guarantees admittance , while the consumer ‘s own purchasing power determines whether they truly belong at the mall . He goes on to demonstrate this ticket ‘ in Australia , where consumers invade the malls regardless of whether or not they have money to spend . Fiske gives credit to Pressdee , who referred to this invasion as proletarian shopping
It would be impossible to discuss the act of shopping at a mall without bringing in the plight of women . Bowlby suggests that the female shopper metaphors (one of her examples is When the going gets tough the tough go shopping ) serve to subjugate women within the patriarchy by suggesting that men pursue the important endeavors while women are left with merely the domestic . She even suggest , on page 314 , that women can find shopping as a source of empowerment , as she is able to examine things she does not own in a structure that is not hers . This empowerment often leads to women (such as Bowlby ‘s mother ) sampling items she has no intention of buying , all the while running the salespeople ragged
I didn ‘t care for this article . In his effort to avoid being glib Fiske accomplished just that . His use of other ‘s metaphors and research left him without a voice of his own . By the end of the article , I couldn ‘t tell where Fiske stood on consumerism in general and shopping malls specifically . Rather than focusing on the work and research of others , Fiske might do well to enter a shopping mall and see consumerism through his own eyes… [banner_entry_footer]
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