Black Friday as people watching paradise

Even if shopping for big ticket items on Black Friday does not sound like your idea of fun, why not go out just to do some people watching? One person from Wisconsin with a sociology degree suggests this very idea:

Count Carly Simon, 26, of Racine, in the second group. Simon, a graduate student, said she, her two children and her sister, Jessie Baker, start at Target, 5300 Durand Ave.

Always integrated into their plans are getting Simon’s daughters new Christmas outfits and holiday haircuts – and they love it.

“It’s like their makeover day,” Simon said.

For Simon, who has a sociology degree, Black Friday’s main attraction is people-watching. “I joked that I would do my master’s thesis on that,” she said.

What she sees in fellow Black Friday shoppers is “not only their holiday excitement, but that they’re so driven. People don’t act like they’d act normally.”

She added, “You’re dealing with group think and you’re dealing with money; those two things are driving forces in large groups.”

This student suggests “people don’t act like they’d act normally” on Black Friday, a description that could fit a lot of sociological work that tries to understand why people and groups do what they do.

If I had to pick several locations for observation on Black Friday, here is what I might suggest: Best Buy at its opening, Wal-Mart at its opening (though they are mixing this up with midnight hours this year), and a large mall relatively early in the morning, say 7 or 8 AM, to watch people scurry from store to store.

One scenario I would be interested in following up on: what happens to people who have waited for hours to get into a store like Best Buy only to find that they are the fourth person who wants the only three available special deals? How do people reconcile the time they put into this sort of excursion with the possibility that they won’t get what they really came for?

One thought on “Black Friday as people watching paradise

  1. Pingback: The capacity of a big box store with COVID distancing guidelines | Legally Sociable

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