The problems of generalizing ethnographic materials are notorious. A study of shopping in Chaguanas is of this second variety. Shops and shopping have a special relationship to the town of Chaguanas that will provide pointers to the wider cultural context within which an analysis of shops ought to be conducted, but in itself represents something of an extreme case. The people of Chaguanas are very much aware that shops and shopping are in some respects a symbol of the town itself, both for them and for the rest of Trinidad. The malls are the abiding legacy of the oil boom, when there was the money and self-confidence to engage in this kind of monumental construction, though even before their construction there had been an earlier local shopping development, termed a 'plaza', which was a conglomeration of shops again associated with a successful local family.