Essay 1, Final Draft
The Signs of Shopping
For me, it is the same question every month, should I go shopping or pay my insurance? Most of the time it comes down to going shopping until the insurance has to be paid, and I am sure I am not the only one that has been in this situation. There are different ways of shopping and each one of these ways are coded systems that construct our own identity. They each encourage consumers to buy products and then group the consumers with one identity. In “The Signs of Shopping”, Anne Norton explores the many ways these shopping methods sell products by selling to the public who they should be. Shopping malls, catalogs and home shopping networks are three different methods for buying products and each of them brings in more and more consumers daily, which in the real world, uncontrollable shopping is not a healthy habit to get into. Shopping was seen as a subversive activity for women. The role of women was to care for their family before putting themselves first. Shopping would allow women to escape from their homes and enjoy the company of other women without the presence of their husbands. They were responsible for housework and taking care of their family’s needs. Shopping was an activity that had replaced those cares. Norton explains, “The housewife who shops for pleasure takes time away from her husband, her family, and her house and claims it for herself” (106). Shopping gave women the option to make their own decisions. As their daughters grew up, they were brought along and bonded over shopping trips. Shopping malls are a place to escape reality and enjoy with others. It manipulates people to leave and experience an ideal reality.
While on the topic of women, statistics have shown that women either do most of the shopping, have a hard time saving up money, or even have a general knowledge about funds, bonds and stocks (Statistics Picture- Bruce Sallen). In one statistic given, about seventy-one percent of men have a handle on their cash flow and spend less money than they make each month (Sallen). Women on the other hand, do not have such a good handle on their cash flow. Only fifty-one percent of women have a good handle and spend less than what they make each month (Sallen). When given a statistic such as this one, you can assume that the women do more shopping than men do, and one place they can get this done is at the mall, one of the biggest places to advertise clothing, jewelry, etc.
When looking at this picture, we can conclude a few main points. One point is that females take a lot longer to shop than males do (Blog). As shown in the picture above, males go straight to their destination while women wander around the whole mall until they find exactly what they are looking for and more. The mission is to go into one store, in this case being GAP, and find a pair of pants. Males understand this mission and head straight towards the GAP, while women must circumnavigate the whole mall before going into GAP (Blog). From a personal mall experience, it is very difficult to go to the mall and only go into one store. Personally, I can plan on going into one store at the mall. However, as I walk by other stores, I see what is advertised on the mannequins and see the big blowout sale signs. This is a form of advertisement that really draws me and I am sure many other people into more than one store. Another point that can be concluded from this picture is that women spend much more at the mall than men do (Blog). As shown in the picture, when men go shopping, they spend an average of thirty-three dollars in one store (Blog). However, when women go shopping, they spend an average of eight hundred and seventy-six dollars in multiple stores throughout the mall (Blog). Of course they spend more money because they walk all around the mall looking to spend more money, while men travel to one store and then leave the mall. The mall is seen as a...
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