Thursday, 21 October 2010

Shopping While Black - Social Experiment

10 comments:

  1. A bit like those programs on BBC3, the point gets lost. Pretend store clerk, pretend security man, pretend shopper WHY ?

    If this is happening for real then it's not for other customers to do something about it, it's for people to boycott the store / brand

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  2. I'm going to have to disagree with Keith. It's not just about store-based racism and boycotting stores that have these issues.

    If people of other races go into those stores and get picked on and nobody does anything supportive, then that store will continue doing what it's doing with it's white customer base. These bits are about educating people that an underlying current of racism still exists and people use a culturally negative view of minorities as an excuse to not get involved.

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  3. The solution would be Fire the staff and hire some who aren't racist. Of course if this policy begins with the head office, then everyone is screwed and making a TV show about it is going to do very little.

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  4. I think the people that didn't say anything were doing it more out of just not wanting to get involved. It doesn't necessarily mean they endorse the action.

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  5. The point is not lost; it is basically a choice of whether strangers will directly confront racism or not without any coercion or reward. Many people will tolerate racism/prejudice if it's not direct at themselves, which is what the program tries to highlight.

    The reason for having actors is to make the experiment focus on only one variable: the "real" shopper(s) and what they choices they would make if other "responsible" figures (the security guard) are not doing their job. The escalation of the racism is meant to push uncertain people out of their comfort zone. If you looked closer, this is similar to other psychology experiments.

    IMO, scandata's reasoning is often what people who tolerate racism like to use as a scapegoat, which you can see on many episodes of that series ("What would you do?" in the US ABC channel). As a non-white person in a majority white area, I can relate to what happened in this video. Try showing a non-white person this video, and chances are they will relate to it, also.

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  6. It's not always even a race situation. I live close by to a "upscale" shopping center and I feel self-conscious when I go to shop there. I feel like I'm being watched because of the way I'm dressed, which they sort of addressed in the video. Everyone who shops there, and works there, is in a pair of heels and a $90 blouse. I feel they probably figure I don't have that kind of money to spend on their shit so I'll probably steal it.

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  7. It's a pretty brave store owner who would allow something like this to be staged in his store. Good on him.

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  8. I'm the sort of person who gets ignored even when I want to buy something. I'm like "hello, hello, can I buy this?" I should take up shoplifting, I reckon :-)

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  9. Well Joanne, you are someone who veers more towards Matalan than M&S so what can you expect...

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  10. Keith, I've never been in Matalan in my life. In M&S quite a few times. Neeeneeer neeeenerrrr!

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