October 24, 2017 - mh9868a

Comparison of Two Articles: Social Control in Public Spaces

Not only are shopping malls are often enjoyed by groups of consumers, but also they are often overlooked. People enjoy being at malls and shopping with friends, but nobody thinks about what makes the shopping experience so enticing. Therefore, I want to investigate the allure that shopping malls bring for average consumers. This investigation is important because it will explain the reasons why malls are so relevant in today’s society. Also, discovering why shopping malls are so alluring will help me understand the social role malls play in today’s world.

In his article called, “Social Control and the Management of ‘Personal’ Space in Shopping Malls,” John Manzo argues that social spaces, such as malls, are designed to control the customers’ behavior. That is, some public spaces are designed to control the actions of the people in that specific space. He conducted his research with an ethnographic style by actually going to public malls and observing what occurred there. By being able to actually observe the behavior among shoppers in public spaces, he was more accurately able to assess the reasons behind those behaviors. In fact, Manzo’s findings that public spaces are designed to elicit a certain type of behavior is in consensus with the scholarship he cites in his article. Therefore, his contribution to the conversation on public spaces is agreed with among scholars in Manzo’s field. Manzo’s analysis of the design of public spaces to elect shopper behavior can be useful for my research because it will help me to understand the reasons why shoppers are still drawn to malls despite the rise in online shopping.

Additionally, in her article, “Profiling Lated Aged Female Teens: Mall Shopping Behavior and Clothing Choice,” Susan Lee Taylor argues that the clothes older teen girls buy at shopping malls is connected to the design of the individual stores themselves. That is, the individual stores within malls are designed to influence the shopping habits of customers. With  an objectivist view, Taylor investigates her claim using focus groups of older teenage girls and a questionnaire of what they bought, and why they bought those items. Overall, her findings the the design of the stores influenced the girls’ shopping was conducive to the other findings in the same field. Overall, this article will help me understand the importance of malls in teenage lives.

The two articles being compared show a similarity in the field of research. That is, both show that shopping complexes and individual stores can influence the behavior of a shopper. Basically, the designs of these stores and complexes can elicit a certain type of behavior from consumers to shop in those places. This discovery will help my research paper because it will help me to understand why malls continue to be such a staple in North American society.



Manzo, John. “Social Control and the Management of ‘Personal’ Space in Shopping Malls.” Accessed September 30, 2017. http://journals.sagepub.com/doi/pdf/10.1177/1206331204265991.

Taylor, Susan Lee, and Robert M. Cosenza. “Profiling Later Aged Female Teens: Mall Shopping Behavior and Clothing Choice.” Journal of Consumer Marketing 19, no. 5 (September 1, 2002): 393–408. doi:10.1108/07363760210437623.


SIS Research Project economic / malls / readinganalysis / shoppingmall / social / socioeconomic /

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