The visit to Bayshore mall and Rideau Center gave me a better sense of who the primary targets of the malls are.  In the case of Rideau, I was originally aware that homeless people were targeted by the mall but I did not realize how important it is for the mall as a whole to keep those individuals outside.  By constructing a bridge above Rideau Street, it allows the customers the ability to avoid encountering the homeless people outside on Rideau Street.  The use of CCTV surveillance cameras also made me feel uncomfortable because I felt that I could not go anywhere without being under any form of surveillance; whether it was by security or the surveillance cameras.  In terms of Bayshore, we felt as though it was youth and immigrants that had been placed with the watchful eye. It was especially true if you entered the store as a group.

The mall strictly forbids taking photographs within the mall.  By breaking this rule I felt a little uncomfortable because, even though we did not caught, I always felt that at any point someone could approach me and ask me to leave.  We had a situation where we got caught right outside the Apple Store.  The staff was starring us down from inside the store, and after realizing that they had seen us, we quickly made an escape without trying to attract any attention to ourselves. We tried again at Bayshore, but the situation was even worse because the area around the Apple store is out in the open and everyone can see you from every angle, as well as from above.  As a student, I usually felt that we were the targets for the mall for consuming purposes, however, as students we are actually targets for the mall as potential criminals and thieves.  As students, we are placed under the microscope by the mall – In Old Navy, we had our backpacks on and were taking a look around. The sales associates were staring at us and we were bombarded a few times asking if we needed to be helped. It became so awkward we left, even though we had done nothing wrong.

I also found the use of advertisement interesting because of the terms used.  The advertisement is directly targeted to teenagers, and young adults.  The hidden messages within the advertisement were interesting to note as well.  The use of key words related the product with body figures.  For example, at Bluenotes in both Bayshore and Rideau, there was an advertisement that read “Slim is In,” hinting that slim is the ideal figure and that if you want it, you must chase and yearn for it. Furthermore, this idea of the chase also alludes to exercise in order to get that body you want – perfect time for the summer. 

 


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    Authors

    Yadgar Karim, Scott Wood and Hymers Wilson

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

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