Black Friday


“Black Friday”
I think this is an example of capitalist consumerism run amok where people line up for hours to get into stores to buy things and get ‘deals’.

This shopping day, the Friday after Thanksgiving, has become an over-hyped extravaganza that has caused bargain-hunting consumers to rampage stores, tear displays apart, trample over other shoppers. At a Wal-Mart “blitz day” in Long Island in 2008, one worker was killed when the crowd burst through the doors.
(see John Seabrook’s Feb 7th New Yorker article “Crush Point” on crowd control and the wal-mart stampede.)

So, unlike in the communist stores and the lines Kasia writes about, here is unbridled capitalism at work, and people waiting, wasting time, on line (and now also on-line for internet sales events) to purchase things that companies have convinced them they must have.



  cindypound wrote @

i wonder a lot about this particular phenomenon. i’m blown away that hundreds of thousands of people are willing to get up at ridiculous hours, wait in long lines, only in the end to save, say $100. this could say a lot about the social economics of time…the ideas that came up in the readings about how waiting longer for something of lesser value is an activity of certain social classes. if this is in fact true, it speaks volumes about the economic realities of a vast number of americans. else, it could be a situation in which we are so consumption obsessed that these behaviors are less about the savings than about the competitive action of “getting more stuff”. regardless, black friday is a totally invented consumption event that personally i think has gotten out of control on many levels.

  jennykane324 wrote @

It does make you wonder what’s going on with us. And how does this fit with time is money?
I don’t know the economic breakdown of the people lining up but you have to think that someone waiting hours for a wal-mart to open is slightly desperate? And has bought into the idea of ‘must-have’ commodities without thinking through the actual savings (if any) on the object. And yes, totally invented consumption that mightily profits the stores and pits customers against each other for the goods. On a slightly different scale, I haven’t experienced it but I’ve heard the Barney’s sale also creates a shopping frenzy.

  lockbird wrote @

I really do not get how people will stand in line for a store to open so that they will “not miss” the sales. Just absurd! I always think that “waiting in line” is one of the most famous north american sports…


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