Ethnographic Notes B – Shopping Malls as Sacred Sites (work in progress, feel free to edit or add)

Many humans in America identify themselves as being a member of a religion. There are a plethora of religions in America, each of which subscribe to different sets of belief systems. Different symbols and rituals are a part of many religions and are used to provide meaning to the lives of members. Like all religions, Christianity, which is among the most prevalent of American religions, is based on the belief of supernatural forces that can’t be explained by modern science. Followers of religion use faith to maintain their belief in things that can’t be scientifically explained or proven. This appears to provide them with a sense of comfort and way of coping with the harshness of life on their earth and the prospect of death.

When looking at the shopping mall as a sacred site it seems clear that what America calls the Market can be considered a religion of sorts. For example you have an invisible hand which guides and shapes the market. Belief in this invisible hand requires faith in certain religious tenets of the market. First that the economy should not be managed. Second the economy will always correct itself. Third a certain amount of debt is a good thing. Fourth is the requirement that we keep purchasing things.


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