Tuesday, January 03, 2006

Yet another parallel: coffee bars and PC bangs

Bryant Simon, a professor of history at Temple University, has noticed this about Starbucks: Moms predominate in late morning, teens take over after 3 p.m., and strangers who are not moms or teens must never engage one another. One of his tipsters, a twelve-year-old girl, calls it Flirtbucks. "She doesn't drink coffee -- she's afraid it'll stunt her growth -- but boys try to impress her by drinking coffee drinks," says Simon, who is currently researching his book on Starbucks. (New Yorker)

From the Starbucks gossip blog here.

The girl Professor Simon talked to is not interested in the substance, but the social benefits associated with going to the coffee bar. This sounds very familiar to my research on why youth congregate in Internet cafes in Asia. A very classic case of "Third Place" (concept found in "The Great Good Place" by Ray Oldenburg) for both cases.


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