Anthropology of the 'third place' (coffee-houses, bars, pubs, ...)


Anthropology of the 'third place' (coffee-houses, bars, pubs, ...)

A location that is not work and not home: rather a public place where people can easily meet, relax and interact. [...] They are typified by their open, democratic nature and informality. (Munteanu et al 2011: 2)

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Latest Activity: Nov 2, 2017

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Literature list

BENNETT, A. et al2002 Understanding everyday life. Oxford: Blackwell.HABERMAS, Jürgen1989 The Structural Transformation of the Public Sphere. Cambridge,Massachusetts: The MIT Press.KING, Greene2008…Continue

Tags: bars, pubs, locales

Started by Andreas Schiestl Oct 10, 2011.

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Comment by muyekho barasa on November 2, 2017 at 5:24pm

This is a great idea since I am into this business as well I am interested in observing and documenting some of the behaviours around such places.Will delve more on the topic after a research

Comment by Nicole S. Soto Rodríguez on April 3, 2013 at 8:46pm

I read the name of the group and thought that this could be a really great discussion group. Interesting to think about the behaviour of community, consumption, and familiarity that can be found in these places. Wether is coffee or alcohol there is still some interesting processes goin on in places were people gather around to talk, drink something and exchange a human interaction. 

What can we discuss? Some of the books of in the literature list?

Comment by Andreas Schiestl on October 25, 2012 at 8:51pm

Just to put two things, we could discuss further: Third places are not only places, where alcohol is consumed. Coffee-houses are not the same a coffee shops. When I have more time, I will go more into the discussion.

Comment by Charles Beach on August 20, 2012 at 2:02am

Speaking only from experience of English pubs, and talking in broad generalisations. It's not recorded how many times you buy drinks for other friends nor do you record how many pints someone else buys you. It is just assumed that friends buy drinks for friends.

When you include this with the way social customs and boundaries often get a little blurry when drink is introduced it all seems pretty informal to me. But democratic? depends where the pub is really, In a small village a lot of local politics get sorted out in the pub. Whether or not this is 'democratic' per se, I don't know.

Also just a thought, there may be some hierarchical elements in 3rd places where alcohol is involved, based on gender age etc. but does this mean they can't be democratic? or at least part of a democratic process? Depends on your definition of democratic.

Comment by Nicholas Carlyle on August 19, 2012 at 8:37am

"... typified by their open, democratic nature and informality" - I'm astonished by this description of the third place to include places where alcohol is drunk. The patterns of behaviour around alcohol consumption seem to be heavily formalised. Would anyone like to probe the Munteanu assumption a little further? Should there be distinctions drawn between older types of drinking cultures (heavily gender-based or biased, alcohol-focused) and, say, coffee-shops? I'm interested in responses, though I admit that I have a 'hate-hate' relationship with alcohol and drinkers (I've never socialised around alcohol, and I do voluntary work at a drop-in in London where practically all the service users have deeply troubled relationships with alcohol.)


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