Elizabeth Pagan Susan Schug Cultural Anthropology 26th September, 2022 I will be observing at the Deptford Mall. I chose to observe this site because it was an important place to kids in my town when I was younger. When I was little, all the kids in my school would go to the mall on weekends or after school some days. We wouldn’t go to shop though, we would go to look and walk around. We simply enjoyed each other's company and got chick-fil-a. I was curious to know if middle school and highschool students still went there for fun. I attended on a Friday afternoon. It's very busy and loud. I am sitting in the food court. The food court has several different food options: Chick-fil-a, Burger King, Jersey Mikes, as well as Sushi, pizza, smoothies, and a salad parlor. The food court is full, with no tables left open. The space is open with sunlight coming in from the roof, and the big open windows. There's an escalator in the middle of the room that leads down to the bottom floor. In the leftover space there are booths, circular tables, and long rectangular tables. All of which are accompanied by sturdy metal chairs. People are working, talking, walking into shops, waiting to order some food in line. Some people are just sitting down and resting from their long shopping trip. Then there are also many people who just glued their phones. There's even doordash or grubhub drivers coming to pick up people's meals.
There are multiple employees at every food station. They all seem to be overwhelmed from the large lines forming at the stores. Most workers appear to be young highschool or college students. Then there are many customers. Mostly the room is full of teenagers or tween children. They're talking while waiting in line, and laughing at the tables, talking to their friends. Then there's some kids glued to their phones, watching videos or using social media apps like snapchat. There are also families sitting together at the larger tables enjoying their meal with one another. The funny thing is that not everyone is sitting in the food court eating. Some people are simply just sitting and resting. There's quite a mix of people there, with different goals. Some people, mostly children, are there just to hang out and have fun. While there are many other people, mostly older teenagers or adults, and families who are there for a shopping trip, and just getting something to eat in between. A few questions I formulated from my observations are– Why do these young kids want to hang out at the mall? Are there not any other places for them to hang out? Why are these kids coming to the mall to hang out when they're simply going to be glued to their phones the whole time? For the families, is shopping at the mall a family event? Did they have a specific reason for coming to the mall, or need a specific item?