Friday, March 23, 2012


In the article Signs of Shopping Norton claims that the mall is not a public space.  Norton claims neither freedom of speech, nor freedom of assembly is permitted in the malls.  I agree with him on that.  If people dont' have those freedoms at the mall then I guess it can't really be called a public place.  Nevertheless, it can't be called a private place either.  A private place is more of a place for one's self only.  Private places are ones such as home, your bedroom, or the bathroom.  At these places you can do whatever you want without having to worry about strange eyes laying upon you and judging you.  You can do things you wouldn't do in public places.  When you're at the mall you don't have privacy, because there's people all around you, so it indeed cannot be considered a private space.  There are some places within the mall that you could call private though, such as the restrooms and fitting rooms, but other than that everything else is pretty much "public."  So, my question here is, if malls are not public spaces because of what Norton says, and they clearly are not private spaces either, then what kind of space are they?  I guess it could be a mixture of both.
Another thing Norton argues on his article is that malls are mainly for women.  He said that female adolescents spend more time there than money.  I wonder how or based on what he got that fact from.  Yes teenage girls like to spend a lot of time at the mall, but they also buy stuff.  For examle if a teenage girl buys a jacket, some jeans, and perhaps some food, she could spend up to $200, maybe less, depending on what stores she buys her clothes from; now if she's at the mall for 2 or 3 hours, how do you get a ratio of the money and the hours she spent at the mall? One penny for every second? If so, then she spent way more money than time at the mall.  It is also true though, that girls a lot of times like to go to the mall just to look around and leave the mall empty handed. Another reason why women like going to the mall according to Norton is because it is an opportunity for them to escape from their husbands and spend some time with their friends.  Well I don't think that's neccesarily true.  If women wanted some time away from their husbands, they could just go for a walk at the park or talk with their friends at some cafe.
The reason why I think women are inclined to spend more time at the mall than men is because they worry much more about what to wear, how they look, or whether or not they have better, more expensive or the latest clothing trend that came out, than men. I believe our societal structure impacts women more than men.  Commercials for the most part are aimed at women: make-up products, hair dye, straighteners, and all these other beauty products that most women are in a way forced to buy.  Men, I believe don't care about their image as much as women do, so that's why they spend less time going to a place where they sell all these products and things that will help them fit in and look "good."

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