Michael Coyle describes shoppers as group of people who, as a result of a hyperpluralized world, are left searching for any sort of direction to free them from a sense of dislocation that they feel even if "it be of the most vengeful and simplistic kind" (2008, 224). Indeed, in both malls, our group experienced the close eyes of other shoppers on us every time we entered a store in a group. The threat of someone stealing - to illegitimately own something in the age of Capitalism where "good" citizens are "good" consumers who earn their money and spend it accordingly is a large threat. While we do not want to speculate, it is perhaps worthy to note that in the case where we saw the young gentleman being escorted out of the Buck or Two, it is most likely a customer who alerted the owner of the "suspicious" behaviour. 

Why does this happen, though? What is it about the acquiring of material objects that creates this trivial competition between explorers of the mall? Richard Curtis notes how consumption is no longer for the use of the product, but for it's value and worth of exchange (1994, 18). Furthermore, if consumers are not necessarily purchasing for need or function, but for aesthetics, it is an estranged way of relation (Curtis, 1994, 18). In the era of the mall, shoppers are constantly searching for that perfect, contradictory item that will a) set them a part from others b) give them an identity that is in fact, like many others. The threat of a person deemed "unworthy" (the phenomenon of the other) is the largest issue for the consumer suffering from ontological insecurity. Be it the homeless, students, immigrants, or the general poor, consumers do not want to compete with a class that will threaten that precious status, identity and meaning that they search for. If people purchased for use, this sense of intolerance would diminish. Unfortunately, with hyperpluralism creating uncertainty and plurality of values, beliefs and meanings, tension and confusion is at a high (Ferrell, Hayward, and Young, 2008, 59). In order to secure some sense of identity and diminish the threat of ontological insecurity, consumers take the stance of the vengeful surveiler. 
Picture
A customer purchasing a chilly treat on a cold, winter day (nonsense at best) watches us with a close eye the entire time.
 


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