Good Essay About Public Place Observation
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I visited a coffee shop, a nearby café that lies close to my university. It is quite a hub of hustling and bustling youth visiting this place often for the sake of recreation and enjoyment with their friends. I observed there groups of people huddled together, on their separate tables. Some tables were occupied with couples while others were reserved by groups of people huddled together. At another table, I would see someone sitting all alone perhaps with a laptop open in front of them with their earphones in their ears, probably lost in a the world of their own.
According to the Functionalist perspective, the coffee shop represents a place of unity and represents itself as a symbol of togetherness amongst the people of that area. There might also be people coming from far into this coffee shop, and this would prove that to make the society an area of unison and oneness, the coffee shop is probably a good example. To come together as friends or family, the society agrees upon this place as one area of consensus and togetherness. These citizens working together in this area now come together and share their common thoughts, ideas and exchange their ideologies with each other, this helps to promote dialog and maintains the flow of communication in the society which helps people to be aware of each other’s thoughts. For instance, friends meet each other from far and wide perhaps, uniting after a long time. This would help to maintain a beneficial give and take of information amongst the individuals and it also is helpful for the owners of the coffee shop as their busy café is a source of income to the many workers that have been hired there.
Similarly, according to the Conflict perspective, the coffee shop is a place that shows the divide in society. There are inequalities in the people who are sitting at the coffee shop. There are those who are enough ‘classed’ that they can afford coming to the coffee shop and can enjoy having a good time with their friends. At times, there are others who are in conflict with the society, and they wish to on their own rather than to mingle and merge in the society around them. Like the woman I see sitting there all by herself for hours, seems rather anti-social since she would not prefer bringing some friend along with the rather than indulging with others. This can also be a representation of the class since she might have any superiority complex associated with her behavior. There are others who are loud and behave in a manner quite on the contrary to the woman, which shows their belonging to a lower class. The society always changes and this change is necessary for the society. There are those sitting here that complain the steaming hot coffee is cold which makes these people deviants in the society.
Symbolic Interactionism is very prominent in this place since there are people who are evidently reliable on each other as they come in groups and interact with each other. There are friends, family members, couples and even people of old age coming to this very coffee shop just to vent their feelings out to each other. Interaction with other human beings, especially with those whom one is close is quite essential. Here the people focus on their food and a cup of coffee as a binding factor with one another and I did overhear some people even saying “I thought it would be best to tell you this over a cup of coffee”.
If this place did not exist, then perhaps there would be an emptiness in the society where one coffee shop represents the whole unit for uniting amongst people and they can interact, enjoy and be themselves with their family and friends. Its absence would be effective since this is one place that offers food as well as a nice ambiance where people can sit and share their views easily without any external influence.
Henslin. J.M. (2013). Sociology: a down to Earth Approach, Core Concepts. (5th ed). Vital Source for Kaplan University
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