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Shoes and the Social Construction of Reality

Collin Sees

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Shoes and the Social Construction of Reality

Collin Sees

In sneaker culture where people collect hundreds and thousands of shoes, value always plays a central role in determining what releases people will really come out in droves to buy. The consumer has to deal with retail value, the value the shoe holds to them, and the value of the shoe to other people—which directly impacts resale value. Value often comes from hype, or the perception that the product is an enhancement that others will find, desirable; this is typically tied to limited releases that are very difficult to obtain. But how does the value of footwear work among people who don’t align themselves with “sneaker culture”? What is it that makes us, as a society, value certain shoes over others outside of the realm of deeply invested collectors? Footwear becomes symbols leading to a social construct that categorizes and valorizes those who wear certain types of footwear.

Shoes and the Social Construction of Reality brings those biases to life by making the shoe into our subconscious fears. If people aren’t allowed admittance to the bar because their footwear choice and the thought that people who wear that shoe are more violent, then what does a shoe that is made to incite violence look like? And how does that visual translate to the biases that people subconsciously hold via the social construction of reality?