The Consequences of Free Choice: Annotated Bibliography 4.

ECHO WEN, WAN, XU JING, and DING YING. “To Be Or Not To Be Unique? The Effect Of Social Exclusion On Consumer Choice.” Journal Of Consumer Research 40.6 (2014): 1109-1122.Business Source Complete. Web. 17 Feb. 2016.

The authors test their hypothesis that people who feel socially included will tend to express product loyalty and follow more mainstream trends compared to those who are socially excluded. The authors divide the people in the study in two categories: Those who are considered “stable” and those who are considered “unstable”. They tested them by socially excluding them through social media, product advertisement and vacation location choices. Their results showed that people who experienced social exclusion and were “stable” would express product loyalty and follow the trends of those around them. In contrast, those who were “unstable” showed little to no product loyalty and interpreted the social exclusion as a reason to stand out and be unique.

What defines normal?
What defines normal? How is “normal” defined in product advertisement? Image used from We<3It

I chose this paper because it shows how socially people can become excluded, through products and their choices. By becoming excluded socially, these people can also become architecturally excluded. For example, those who were classified as “unstable” can feel excluded from certain interior and exterior environments if it does not make them feel like they belong. Atlanta itself relies heavily on advertisement and products, and those who exhibit no product loyalty may easily feel excluded from Atlanta.




The Diamond Among the Rubble: Stone Mountain

“Ethereal. Invigorating. Peaceful.”

These are the three words that describe the undeniable charm Stone Mountain possesses. Founded as a state park in 1958, Stone Mountain resides next to the buzzing and noisy highway 78, and acts as a quiet sanctuary away from the chaos of civilization. My adventure started at the entrance where I had the option of paying for a daily pass or using a seasonal pass for parking. Being a person who regularly comes to Stone Mountain, I had a seasonal pass and was able to breeze through the entrance. Immediately, I was surrounded on all sides by the brown of the trees, the green grass and the dull and murky blue lakes. As you dwell farther into the park, signs point in multiple directions, directing people to the locations of exhibits and attractions.

The first location I entered was the strategically placed Crossroads. The Crossroads is placed in a location that is likely to be passed, regardless of where you wish to go in the park and is surrounded by signs and advertisements directing people into it. This is because the Crossroads is the transportation hub of Stone Mountain and serves as a staring point for newcomers and tourists. Almost all tickets for attractions must be bought in the Crossroads, and it is also where most of the children oriented activities are located. In addition to this, the Memorial Hall Museum sits right next to the Crossroads and is oriented for a older audience. Coincidence? I do not think so.

The Crossroads. Take note of the signs and advertisements.
The Crossroads. Take note of the signs and advertisements.
Grist Mill
Grist Mill

However, this is the only place in the park that is heavily influenced by man and marketing. The rest of the park has little man made interference, other than the roads and paths that were created for easy accessibility throughout the park. These parts of the park, like the Grist Mill, Carillon and the entrance to the famous walk-up trail were filled with people, ranging from those who are athletically oriented to those who just wish to escape from the city. As I explored these areas, which were easily accessible, I was filled with a sense of tranquility and felt myself forget about all the things that caused me stress.

Despite knowing that most of the park was technically man made, and that the artifacts were not original to the park did not bother me at all.

From the sound of the Grist Mill, to the music playing at the Carillon, I felt like I was isolated from the noise and crowds that plague the outside world and could actually focus on my thoughts. I believe this is the reason why many people come to Stone Mountain; to escape the urban trap of the city and become engulfed in the loving arms of nature.