Saturday, July 20, 2013

Observing Class Lessons in Real Life

Today, Summer Discovery took a trip to Franklin Mills, Pennsylvania and shopped at the Franklin Mills mall for about seven hours. Hannah, our friend Ali from class, and myself took this as an opportunity to carry out a social experiment. We spent the day observing consumerism, Capitalism, and objectification in reality. We talk about a lot of things in class, so we wanted to observe these subjects in reality. The mall was a perfect setting, as this is the "heaven" of consumerism. Many pictures were taken and many questions asked.

We asked an employee at a Nutrition store what their highest selling product is; he said it is diet pills. The media has created an image of the perfect man and woman, and those images include slim, or skinny, bodies. Consumers feel the pressure to look this way and end up buying diet pills in order to portray this image of "the beautiful people."

A message on a hat promoting rape
We visited a store called Spencer's, which is a gift store. This gift store sells jewelry, children's clothes, and sex toys. The front part of the store seems to sell most of the appropriate gifts, but once you walk towards the back of the store, that's where they sell all of the sex toys, poles, and nude women posters. There were baby clothes with inappropriate sayings on them, like, " I love my Mommy, even though she is a *insert inappropriate word*." Some products were even promoting rape. There were birthday cards displaying vulgar images. The posters had women bent in numerous positions with barely any clothing on. There were some images of nude men as well. The weirdest part about all of this, is that this store is open to people of all ages. A child could easily have walked into that section, like my friends and I had. When we asked people what kind of store Spencer's is we had responses such as, "I am not sure. It's like a gift shop, but then all of a sudden you are in an inappropriate area." Or "Yeah, I don't know [dismayed smile]."

We explored other stores and noticed that boy's and girl's stuff were usually separated, as we're women's and men' sections. It was so obvious in some places because there were signs supporting this gender segregation. This was seen more with boy's and girl's stuff than men's and women's. For example, the girl's sections had all of the flats and sandals, while the boy's sections had all of the work boots. Oddly enough this was a sports store.

There was objectification of women everywhere, such as the posters at Spencer's, the Anime/Manga image of girl's, and the image of women in video games. You could see on the cover of the video games that women do not have much clothing on, while the men have on armor or some attire of protection. I have played video games before, and women fight just as much as men in these games, so it is really odd that women wear less clothing.

"Capitalist graffiti"
While we explored the stores I took note of the "Capitalist graffiti." They were all promoting a store, a company, or social media sites. Social media is not always positive, due to the fact that it gives out information about yourself that makes it easier for advertisers to advertise things that you would most likely buy.

I do not like shopping at shopping malls for long hours, but I was able to make this trip fun for myself. I have been trying to be less of a consumer as well, so I was careful of my purchases. I only bought souvenirs for my friends back home. After the mall, we went back to campus and I ate dinner with my friends. I am excited for tomorrow's activities which is the Zoo and Laser Tag. 

No comments:

Post a Comment