Value System

My chosen value system for vending machines is addiction. I chose this because it doesn’t immediately sound like they would relate but there are many types of addiction and many of them have been promoted in the use of vending machines. My paper would look into how kleptomaniacs are more comfortable stealing from vending machines, endangering the lives. How the 24/7 availability of cigarettes and liquor in vending machines of the twentieth century promoted the alcohol and nicotine. And how Japanese school girls are selling their underwear in prohibited vending machines to people addicted to the sexualization of minors. And how the modernization of many food vending machines has attempted to prevent obesity and the over-availability of junk food (ie addicting to eating)


One thought on “Value System

  1. Makenna, this is a fascinating take! After reading your different examples, I wonder whether it might be more productive for you to discard the medicalized approach of “addiction,” and instead focus on the unexpected ways that vending machines support fringe culture. As you point out, the easy access and the anonymity change how people might go about purchasing things, and it might change the kinds of products that are readily available for purchase. There is a book called “The Subculture Reader,” edited by Ken Gelder, which could have some really great chapters for you to analyze these different vending machine culture you are encountering.

    I suggest this, in part, because definitions of addiction are hotly debated by doctors and psychiatrists, and there is a lot of incentive to call certain compulsive behaviors “addictions” that really aren’t. If you switch your focus slightly, you’ll still be able to investigate those buying habits (and the people who engage in them) without falling into the pit of having to justify your diagnoses as a non-medical-expert. Does that sound interesting to you?


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