journey

Shopping as a Modern Quest

ALEXANDRA MACK Pitney Bowes PechaKucha Presentation As Ethnographic Practitioners in Industry, shopping behavior is a frequent topic of our research. We take on the role of the consumer's advocate, arguing for products that bring value. Or decry the rise of consumerism as the focus of modern life, as exemplified by the drive to acquisition. Recent research on shopping has led me to thinking about quests from a different perspective. While we think of the pursuit of goods in terms of commercialism, in many cases there is an important journey along the way. Perhaps, in some instances, shopping is a quest—a journey toward a goal, in which often the journey itself is as important as the goal, and at others, the true goal is not the object. In traditional anthropological studies, quests that are in pursuit of a “thing” are usually about the basics of survival, and more focus has been put onto those that are spiritual pursuits, leading to a discovery of self and a path into the community. This PechaKucha describes...