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Hong Kong Shopping Mall Case Study

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Hong Kong is a city of mall. There is a dense concentration of shopping malls around Hong Kong and every day we purchase goods and socialize there. Yet the role of these malls seems not only serve as consumerism function. According to Shields, “leisure spaces are zones of permitted, legitimated pleasure, still very much within the rid of social control and repression” (8). As a type of leisure space, Hong Kong’s shopping mall is a modern panopticon to exercise social control towards their consumers. Such panopticon, as I believed, is achieved through three stages: observation, submission and finally normalization.

A panopticon is constituted by a set of standardized rules and these rules, if applied to the shopping mall, should be the conditions
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freely accessible in all types of shopping mall because they can fulfill the entrance criteria required while the lower class, who does not have enough cultural capital, is rejected from entering due to their inability…show more content…
Advertisement and modelling displayed in the shopping mall would be the best tool because they offer a capitalist gaze towards the customers. Shields suggests that ‘the design and layout of stores informs and incites acts of looking” (13). Stores in Hong Kong’s shopping mall is strategically designed to have an abundance of publicity images. Advertisement and modelling locate in the most noticeable space which is usually near the entrance of the shops (Fig 7). We simply cannot ignore those images when we pass the stores. This create an envy feeling for their customers because the advertisements suggest a wonderful picture of lives for those who own the products and it is what the consumers lack. They envy those who have it and would therefore purchase and spend more, thereby become what they previously envy. For instance, shops selling woman clothing usually display photos of stars/ models with impossible body standard (Fig 8). By portraying an ideal woman’s body, these stores send a message that only woman of standard figure is capable of a happy and successful life. They point out the problem, and at the same time provide the solution: consumption. As long as their customers take the feeling of envy, they will be educated, thereby
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