Sociology and Coffee

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Writing Assignment #1
Coffee is a beverage that is globally consumed, but also a product that has different values in different parts of the world. The role coffee plays in society differs around the world, from the farmers who grew the crops to the people who constantly consume them. Social theoretical perspectives are capable of showing the different roles coffee has in different societies. Symbolic interactionism, functionalism, and Marxism are three theories which show coffee’s role sociologically. These theories show how coffee affects people physically, how it affects them emotionally, how it leads them to have interactions, how it connects different parts of society, and how it’s economically controlled by a select few. Symbolic interactionism is a social theoretical approach established by George Mead, which emphasizes the importance of symbols and language in understanding the social world. This theoretical theory first allows us to derive the symbolic meanings coffee has on society. Coffee is often viewed as a beverage for energy. It’s often drunk in the morning for means of getting drive after one has woken from sleep, or during the day when one is having a tiresome day, or sometimes after the consumption of alcohol to sober up. All these symbols can be used to identify the nature of coffee consumption within society. These symbols can lead to the social interaction, which George Mead said, involved the exchange of symbols. People can understand a person’s state of mind and mood when they see them drinking coffee, because coffee is capable of symbolizing certain moods. When people see one another drinking coffee before conversing, in Mead’s theory, it’s the exchange of symbols, in this case how one is feeling at that moment. After understanding one another, the people then can start talking in the manner in which they want to. Functionalism is another social theoretical approach which emphasizes the study of social activity as society functions as a...
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