Ethnographic Observation

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Ethnographic Observation

I set out to find a place to begin my observations, not knowing what to fully expect, what I may find. So I decided to look around at what is close to my home that isn’t a place I frequent or have even visited at all. Then it came to me, the Starbucks that is only about a mile away is a perfect place for me to observe subjects that I would consider different from myself, seeing as how I consider such obscene prices for coffee ridiculous. Starbucks is a very popular chain of coffee vendors that describe their product as more about quality than what Americans are used to in typical coffee joints.

Although I know it is poor technique of me as an anthropologist to have prejudice about any place or people that may be at that place, but I have to admit I already had set in my mind that these people would be “stuck-up” “more money than sense” type of people. So upon entering the establishment I decided to blend into as much as possible by ordering one of their Grande size coffees, which is just their basic coffee in a medium size. Then, I found a spot in the corner and began to pretend I was reading the newspaper I had brought as a prop to further help me blend into my surroundings. The aroma of the building was very pleasant blend of coffee and various mixtures of chocolate and hazelnut. It also did have a very friendly feel and accepting sense to the whole thing.

So after being in Starbucks for approximately thirty minutes I decided I had enough data to discuss my findings. The business definitely drew in a particular social group. It seemed to consist of mainly white males and females that appeared to be in their early twenties to upper twenties. Also most of them seemed to be more affluent to at least upper middle-class status. I came to this conclusion by the vehicles they drove and also the clothing they were wearing. Most of them were adorned in such brands as Columbia and The North Face, which are higher-end winter...
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