This sacred unofficial holiday is a day that millions of people around the world wait all year for. People save up their money for this expendable day, and often times, people have been killed in urgency and anticipation of this day. This is the day that follows Thanksgiving, known as Black Friday. Black Friday is often regarded as the kickoff to the Christmas shopping season with major retailers opening their doors early and offering promotional sales. Anxious shoppers line up outside of shopping malls and outlet stores hours before the store opens even earlier than normal, sometimes claiming their spot the evening of Thanksgiving. When the store doors finally open in the early hours of that Friday morning, herds of people trample their way inside the stores to get the best deals on products before they’re gone. Sometimes the crowds of people are so overwhelming and powerful that in 2008 in New York, a Walmart employee was trampled to death on Black Friday. But what exactly compels people to participate in Black Friday?
Poststructuralism views culture through a powerful lens, theorizing that power acts as an agent of economic, political, and social trends. On Black Friday, all of the major retail stores and companies hold the power in their hands. Poststructuralism also offers the notion that where there is power, there is resistance. One could argue that case on this particular day. With corporations such as Walmart, people are opposed to shopping there due to the fact that Walmart buys their products from China where labor is cheap and their control over the market. But on Black Friday, places like Walmart slash their already cheap prices to a point where even the most stubborn liberal gives in and spends a quick dollar or two on products.
According to Boasian theory, cultural traits pass from one culture to another in an element of cultural diffusion. Black Friday isn’t just tied to the United States, although it is often the place that most people associate with Black Friday. Countries like Canada, the United Kingdom, and Brazil have adopted this successful unofficial holiday, and statistically have almost doubled their total revenue in one year with the adoption of this tradition. Canada adopted Black Friday to keep their citizens from traveling across the border into the United States, and in turn proved to be a crafty move on their part with some Canadian stores tracking 10 to 11 times higher during the week of Black Friday than average. This successful notion of cultural Black Friday is spreading quickly throughout the globe, and in the future, could potentially become a world-wide custom. What a crazy world that would be!