Soc 415 Week2a Williams Ch1 and 2

Soc 415 Week2a Williams Ch1 and 2 - Shopping as a social...

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Shopping as a social phenomenon SOC 415 W08 14 January 2008
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Why shopping is a social phenomenon • Three key social decisions – Where to buy – How to search for/ select goods/services – What to buy • (At least) three social outcomes
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Where to shop as socially constructed Where (Top-down process) – Location of shopping venues not random (political struggles) • Highway construction and transportation facilitate visit (or not) – Invitations targeted to some but not others • Advertisements depict/suggest “ideal customer” • Store layout and storefronts as “inviting” or intimidating • Management hires the types of people who are attractive for the “target consumer” Where (Bottom-up process) – Signaling position within social hierarchy (meaning- making/ power struggles) – Asking people you know (social networks) where to shop – Joining friends who shop or shopping together (networks)
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How to Shop as Socially- Oriented Behavior How to shop (how to select goods/ services) – Management decisions about who is in the front room and who is in back; customer service policies; – Store layout signaling leisure or utility – Selecting social characteristics of workers; some customers get more attention than others Selecting goods/ services (Bottom-up) – Social networks for information about product and satisfaction – Participating in leisure rituals with other in-group members, so need ritual equipment (a die-hard football fan needs her/his jersey) – Emotional intensity accelerates or decelerates during interactions within the store
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Soc 415 Week2a Williams Ch1 and 2 - Shopping as a social...

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