Socialisation, community, and shopping malls : an empirical study at Auckland's St. Lukes Mall : examining the role the mall plays for its patrons : a thesis presented in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Arts in Social Anthropology at Massey University
With the steady growth in the number of shopping malls being constructed, and the high level of media attention they have been receiving, this exploratory study investigated the role shopping centres play for their patrons and conceptualized the findings via both modernist and postmodernist analyses. A variety of methods were used: surveys, structured interviews, extended open interviews, and photographic observation. The survey and interview information was analysed for regularities and themes. The St Lukes mall, for over half of its patrons, did serve a social role as a site for meeting people and "hanging out". However, St Lukes is a very middle class mall - therefore questions were raised as to whether the poor are able to relate the same way to 'their' malls. Cultural, social and economic factors all appeared to underlie mall patronage.