Title

Alone, Together: The Social Culture of Music and the Coffee Shop

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

2011

Abstract

This project examines how both background and personal music directly impact the specific social life of coffee shop patronage. As a consumer space, the coffee shop's atmosphere is specifically intended to affect the consumptive and social behaviors of patrons. One of the most noticeable and independent elements of that atmosphere is the music played there, which is an essential part of the coffee shop experience. Since the advent of the personal music player, it is also an optional one. I conducted informal interviews with employees and patrons of a local independent coffee shop, and made observations as a native participant in the coffee shop culture, operating within both its spacial and social contexts. The interviews and the observations delineated the role of music in the social culture of the coffee shop. This investigation demonstrated that music unifies and privatizes the coffee shop experience.

Advisor

John Lang

Department

sociology

Support

Ford Research Mentors Endowment

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