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Posted on March 27th, 2012, by

Nowadays, the consumption has reached the highest level, as different groups of people are interested buying something new every day. For example, I am interested in this topic and I enjoy reading about the newest trends and the most interesting topics considering consumption. I think that it is necessary for people to buy goods, to enjoy the process and to create goals and then achieve them. I am also interested in visiting shopping malls, as they distract and bring positive emotions. Shopping malls are considered great places to visit with the family and friends.

The gender patterns are clearly seen in the observation of the behavior of consumers, which differs a lot. Materialism of the modern society and internationalism influence the people’s behavior, habits, intentions and character. There are many reasons that reflect eh behavior and the decisions of people these days. I can say that I have my own opinion considering shopping and the current trends, including the consumer’s behavior. In the essay we will observe the gender patterns of behavior, current trends, innovative approaches interaction and process of purchasing.

The discourse observed at the shopping mall generally involved gender patterns of behavior among male and female couples, and young people in same sex and mixed peer groups.  The discourse also involved commodification, which refers in this study to the process through which human beings, through materialism and conspicuous consumption, attempt to locate themselves socially as commercial objects.  Discourse follows from this to conspicuous consumption, which is the materialism of embracing luxury objects which may not have any utilitarian value other than that of inspiring the envy of others in groups or singly.  The observations made at the shopping mall were ethnographic in nature.  Ethnography is concerned with the study of social groups and social systems within a culture (Bogdan & Bicklen, 1992; Denzin & Lincoln, 2000). It uses an emic’ approach (McMillan & Schemacher, 2001) that focuses on discovering and understanding patterns, actions, language, and explanations that are unique to the culture of particular groups of pople (Knotek, 2003).  The research also has elements of grounded theory in terms of its categorization.

Thinking of this type of ethnographic study, I first surmised that the shopping mall offers a receptive environment for this type of observation because it tends to elicit a style of dress that is intentionally reflective of the origin of the nearby consumer impulse.

For this study, I deemed that observing youth groups at the shopping mall would be appropriate because of the presence of a comparatively conservative social element to compare with their fashion, that of the adult shopper.

The setting of the ethnographic investigation was relegated to less specialized and more common locales at the mall; that is, although I observed the abovementioned conservative element in stores like Macys and Nordstrom, it was more appropriate for me to observe youth groups in open areas of the mall, such as the food court, the entryways, and outside of the arcade.  All of the situations observed regarding the focus group for the study occurred in settings such as these.

In vocal exchanges within these areas of social classification, aberrant unrestrained behavior was observed a few times in rather conservatively dressed young females who seemed to frequent the mall as a way of letting off excess stress rather than mingling extensively in conventional forms of discourse.  At the foodcourt, two such females dressed in faded jeans and zip-up sweatshirts over t-shirts were observed leaving the mall after attempting to engage another group of young people in an exchange of verbal insults, which did not escalate.  Instances such as these, which show unrestrained behavior being performed in conservative dress, can be considered to be variable, and notably, the actions involved did not seem to be primarily structured to engage the attention of the role of status, as, it turns out, fashion is in most cases bound to dictate.

Results garnered from these social fields encouraged this observer to also make a distinction between encounters in distinctive dress and encounters in terms of social hierarchy.  Data showed that those young groups who showed a distinctiveness dress generally had as much to say as more conservatively dressed young people, who needed to have quieter conversations that generally tended to take proportionately greater amounts of time.  Young individuals who dressed more conservatively were more likely to take the position of a social observer, speaking relatively little, and when so, in tones that were marked by observation rather than declaration.  There was a great amount of body-language observed in group-group interactions, and less observed in more individual interactions.

In a natural setting, data is not a logical abstraction.  There are countless variables.  One can only hope to assay a series of general trends within these variables, and in the case of this study, those general trends were as follows.

First of all, those young people who portrayed themselves differently than the dictates of convention tended to need and receive more attention than those who were more reserved and conventional in dress. These more distinctively dressed groups were more animated and more prone to respond in kind to exclamatory postures and vocal outbursts.

Secondly, those young people who did dress outside of convention displayed a more outgoing attitude towards the opposite sex than their more conventionally dressed counterparts. Therefore, one can garner the general rule that at malls that are designated as social meeting places for young people, those who are outgoing and dress in an unconventional manner are more likely to need and get attention than others who are more conservative in appearance.

Taking into account unrestrained behavior and conservative dress, meeting behavior and distinctive dress, social groups in combination with dress, people who already knew each other, and relative animation as an extension of unconventional fashion expression, there are many variables that may go against the grain of these generalized findings, and some degree of spurious connection between these variables is likely when cases are honed down to individual representations.  I have only seen fit to present a record of my observations and briefly assay general tendencies in relation to these observations made of young men and young women interacting socially at shopping malls.  In this natural setting, the observation of these groups as they intermingle in social processes brings data that is often as complicated as the processes it describes, and I have tried not to correlate my data into any abstract or statistical notion, merely analyzing and presenting what I view to be a series of general trends regarding social interaction and fashion.  The specificity of the study was limited in terms of my own limited interacting with the subjects of the study, which was relegated to the position of only observation and private comment in the form of field notes.  Therefore, a good deal of subjectivity is to expected, but perhaps could have been improved by a more objective stance on my part.

An area of future research could concentrate on the ways in which, through talk, exchange, and socially classified behavior, young male subjects in groups display marked animation and interest in females who present themselves as unconventional dressers and thus codify their social interactions as being more spontaneous, vivid, and uninhibited than their more conventionally dressed counterparts.  By and large, it is expected that the males in this future study will exhibit a fairly passive gender role expression in which they are reactionaries to the presentations of these females, who are likely to demand, and therefore receive, more attention from them.

In other groups observed at the mall, there were also patterns of communication and expression.  Generally, shopping malls can be seen as matriarchal microcosms, when it comes to couples, but in terms of gender role reinforcement, in terms of mixed sex and same sex younger people.  It seems to be that age is a major variable in communication, as well as style of dress.

All in all, it can be stated, that today people prefer to observe, evaluate and communicate to achieve positive results.

Shopping malls are extremely popular nowadays and they are considered one of the favorite places to relax, shop, and entertain. Social classification and people’s behavior determine the demand and interest in the certain objects. It can be said that the look and the image of a person leads to the formation of the opinion about him. People evaluate others by what they wear, where they go and how they communicate. Consequently, often, people see what they want to see and perceive the world the way more comfortable for them.

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