Our study at the mall left me feeling somewhat conflicted. On the one hand, I never saw myself as part of the consumption-to-satisfy group. I was never particularly into shopping, or new fashion trends, etc. and thus felt unaffected by “new is always better” marketing. However, after doing this project, I notice the way ontological insecurity can affect even someone like me. When I see my friends with a new phone or video game, a feeling of inadequacy typically accompanies it for me. Also, when I purchase something, like the newest Call of Duty, I often share it on Facebook so that others can see what I have. Indeed, almost a sense of accomplishment is felt when you are the part of a popular movement, regardless of its level of commodification. Just the act of buying something makes us feel good.

The Rideau Center is located in the heart of the city and tons of foot traffic goes through the building every day, including myself. Things changed during this project, though – I felt awkward and apprehensive stopping and taking pictures of signs because it violated the norm (no other shoppers were doing it) and this was even before we got the list of mall rules. I didn’t want to get kicked out even though I knew my intent was simply to gather information. Bayshore was even worse just due to it being slightly unknown territory for me. It seemed smaller and as if everyone was watching my every move. It became increasingly apparent the more time I spend inside the mall that I was supposed to consume and get out. A part of me feels that I am a citizen of Canada and I shouldn’t have to feel apprehensive about my movement in any way. At the same time, those who own the space should be allowed to set the rules however they wish. Although the inclusion/exclusion seems unfair, I believe it is merely a reflection of the attitudes of consumers.



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    Yadgar Karim, Scott Wood and Hymers Wilson

    We are each third year students in the University of Ottawa's Criminology program. 


    April 2013