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Starbucks as Social Mechanism

March 5, 2005

A sociology professor is holding classes on coffee houses bringing about the resurgence of a valuable and historic social contact mechanism, according to this CNN article.

Over the centuries, “cafes became places where informed men, some educated and some not, would come together and talk about stuff,” including literature, plays, poems, economics and politics, Weston said.

In recent years, the emergence of the Seattle-based Starbucks chain has brought the coffee house back into vogue in this country.

“Having a place to do that enriches a culture,” Weston said. “It takes us out of the cocoon of private life and into the public world. Cafes are important for creating a public life, particularly in a democracy. It becomes a place where the town, or, in the big city, where the neighborhood develops.”

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