Comparing the Public Use of Shopping Malls in Australia and America

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The Public Use of Shopping Malls in Australia and America

Shopping malls are a prevalent part of both Australian and American societies. People of all races, creeds, ages, and social status flock to malls to participate in what John Fiske labels as the “conflict of consumerism” (284). However, he calls it the “conflict of consumerism” because recently there have been problems with disruptive teenagers interfering with potential buyers and posing a safety threat both to other shoppers and each other. It is shocking how many people come to malls in both countries with no intention, or means, to buy. According to Fiske in his essay, “Shopping For Pleasure; Malls, Power, and Resistance,” a study shows that “80 percent of
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The youths who turn them into their meeting places, or who trick the security guards by putting alcohol into some, but only some, soda cans, are not actually behaving any differently from lunch hour shoppers who browse through the stores, trying on goods, consuming and playing with images, with no intention to buy. (286)

His observations of malls in Australia show that malls are no longer being used only for shopping, but for a variety of other activities.

Similarly, this holds true in the United States as well. Robyn Meredith, in her news report, reveals a number of striking similarities between the Mall of America and the Australian malls. According to her essay, “Teenagers swarm the shopping mall, disturbing other shoppers with chases, practical jokes and fistfights” (289). She also says, “Young people and adults agree that teenagers can be obnoxious. They race down the halls in groups, scattering shoppers in their paths. They use foul language when shouting at their friends some even drop food or spit over the railings, aiming at the shoppers below” (290). Once when I was shopping with some of my friends, I saw someone dropping food on others from an upper level. For example, they would look over the edge, drop a French-fry, and then duck down behind the railing to avoid detection. Activities such as this are common in both American and

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