The Sustainable Consumption Lifestyle: The Filipino Mall Experience
This paper tackles discuss the malling phenomenon in the Philippines and how it has transformed the consumption culture of a nation. It is important to define the culture of consumption by understanding consumer spaces. As the elements of consumption are internalized by societies, they become cultural signifiers. Consumption in the twenty-first century forms part of identity politics and fills a multitude of niches. Prior to the establishment of the SM Malls nationwide, Filipinos had to travel to a multitude of locations to buy goods and services. Trips to three different shopping districts to buy groceries, clothes and shoes were not uncommon. A simple series of shopping transaction could take several days as one had to visit a number of small, distant shops. In the Philippines, malls now allow consumers to engage in all types of transactions in one location, and have transformed shopping into a one-time affair with less physical effort. Malls have also provided Filipinos with a new recreational geography, encouraged the consumption of “new” technological products such as PDAs and computers, and have made previously-inaccessible leisure facilities, such as gyms and bowling allies, part of mainstream, middle-class life. The paper concludes with the salient typologies of Filipino youth consumption amidst the rise of a consumer society and its impact on social class and gender.
Amparo Pamela H. Fabe is a UP Diliman trained economist and sociologist. She is a Consultant in Project Finance and Social Marketing. Her specific research interest is in the sociology of conflict and cultural studies. She pursued a Master’s Degree in Industrial Economics at the University of Asia and the Pacific, and finished a Bachelor of Science Degree in Economics at the UP School of Economics. She has completed graduate studies in the Dynamics of Youth and Terrorism at the Southeast Asian Regional Center for Counter-Terrorism in Malaysia. She has written over 40 academic monographs, book chapters and journal articles.
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