Weather: Partly Cloudy But Moderately Humid Essay
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People live, eat, sit, and form groupings that have close personal attachments and associations. These groupings are social circles and spaces in which people draw social fulfilment of some kind. For instance, these rings provide suitable areas for their comfort and nurturing. They are habitations that create a healthy environment for people to interact, express themselves, and meet. These social spaces emerge because of various factors. One of these factors is the social assumptions and perceptions that people have. This paper describes the observations made during a study of the social spaces in the university cafeteria from Monday morning to Wednesday 3a.m. It further speculates and challenges the assumptions and perceptions contributing to the observations.
Setting: Skibo café is next to one of the hostels. The lights are dim, and music is playing loudly. The air is inundated with people’s voices as they talk to each other.
We did a participant observation of the university cafeteria and made several observations. Various social functions take place in these areas. For instance, we observed that the architecture majors were eating together and that people who come with others tended to extend their stay beyond the eating. Thus, one of the primary social functions taking place in the cafeteria is social gathering and interaction. We also noted that some people came in pairs of the opposite sexes. Hence, the café also serves as a social space for people to date.
We noted that there are certain covert rules that govern pairings of people. One primary rule was that one person did more of the talking than the other. There was a spokesperson to the pair. Additionally, we noticed that the number of people flocking the café reduced towards the evening hours starting 5 p.m. on Tuesday only a maximum of 10 people were in the café between 1-2am.
There was a challenge in this observation to one of our assumptions about the Indians. We noted that, unlike their habit of eating dinner much later, they ate early enough on Tuesday, by 5p.m. Further, this observation confirmed the primary need for relationship in humans. We noted that most people who came alone would scout for friends in the café before they could make an order.
Though I have not been to these areas in another country, I suppose that our observations reflected the case for most countries. For instance, I noted that people of particular nationalities preferred to use their dialects instead of English. To illustrate, I observed that the Indians preferred to speak Hindi while the Chinese spoke Mandarin or Chinese.
One similarity of this café with the others in terms of division and designation of space is that the location of sitting positions is away from the door, while more were close to the windows. Most people opted for the window seats than the congested areas.
In sum, social groupings emerge from certain strongly held perceptions and assumptions. These dynamics serve to enhance bonds among people in which they share their allegiance and draw comfort. It is critical for social observers to be cognizant of their assumptions, values, and prejudgments as they make observations.
Social Map: The physical representation of the cafeteria, including the observations of the social dynamics that occurred
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