The observation was conducted in George Cafe near the University of Washington. The cafe is an on-campus coffee place, therefore, majority of the customers are students from the University and the members of the faculties. The observation was conducted between 11am-12 pm. Majority of the students carried bags and held husky cards while the university staff only carried their husky cards and hand bags for the women.
I spent the first 15 minutes looking around the whole premise to have a general feeling of its environment. I noticed that there were some kind of customers pattern. A behavior that seemed familiar to everyone who walked into the shop. The hoteliers seemed to know their customers preferences and the customers almost knew what to do. There were no written rules, nor was there anyone inviting people inside or showing them direction or asking what they wanted. There were minimal interaction between the cafes staffs and the customers apart from when they were placing their orders. Everyone seems to know their way.
My behavioral observation was recorded in five stages: From the time the customer steps in-goes into the queue-places the order-waits-leaves or find a seat and sits.
Some students jumped into the queues directly, others came and cut the line. Some went and placed their bags on the sitting areas and carefully made the queues. Some peeped in, saw the queue and left. Most faculty members arrived like 30 minutes after the students.
In the Queue:
Most did not have interaction with anyone while queuing, few talked to their friends. Most were holding their phone or talking on it. Even more were listening to music from their phones. Some were standing outside the queue, and either chatting on their phones or with their friends.
Order and Checkout: Confusion ensured with those holding their bags struggling to take out cash. Some had their own coffee mugs, few people looked at the menu, very few people bought food, mostly the faculty stuff, most people who took any food were male.
Most people stood near the counter waiting for their order. Some were eating, things like bananas
while taking their order, most girls would get confused on how to carry the food to the sitting area. Several guys carried their female friends orders.
Find seats, and Sit:
Few people sat alone. Majority who sat together were of the same race. Most African American guys eat standing up. Some Asian American girl took long before figuring out where to sit. Most faculty staff sat together. Most male finished their food faster than the ladies. While not talking, most people were on their phones.
Accommodation: This is the social acceptance of ones relative position in a social setting with respect to the minority and the dominant group. The George Cafe is a social setting of the students and the university staff. The students are the majority and the staff the minority. One would not help noticing that both groups knew their positions in the cafe.
Acculturation: Acculturation is the minority groups acceptance of the majority group. Most staff members arrived in the Cafe like thirty minutes after the students. By then most of the students had left the shop.
Ascribed Status: This is the social position that a person finds themselves in by birth like sex, or race and age. The George Cafe has different races customers of different ages and ages,
Deviant Behavior: These are behaviors that fall outside the generally acceptable rules. There were cases of students cutting the queue, something that did not please their friends. Also, some people ate while standing up and occasionally they would receive disapproving looks from both the hotel staff and their fellow students.
Norm: These are rules and expectations that are considered acceptable or required from people in a social setting. As much as there were no written rules in the cafe, one would not help noticing that students who cut the line and walked haphazardly in the cafe were acting against some kind of normalcy.
Culture: This is a system of expectation on values and norms or a pattern of behavior practiced in a social setting. The culture of George cafe involves customers coming the cafe, make the queue, place their orders, wait, get their orders and leave or sit and eat.
Identity: This is a normative standard or pattern that makes the observer place a person in some kind of category or classification. My identification for students and staff came with the fact that students carried what clearly looked like school bags and they looked young. The staff on the other hand were elderly and just carried their husky cards.
Prejudice: This is a belief or feeling directed against a member of an ethnic group. In this case, the feeling was the fact that the African American males talked in high tones and generally seemed restless. I heard one white girl comment that blacks are loud.
Sexism: This is the belief that ones sex is superior or inferior to another. This was seen when guys carried their female friends food and one guy said that girls cannot multitask where it mattered.
Symbol: These are things that carry a particular meaning and are recognizable by most people. In the case of the cafe, the most noticeable culture symbol is girls with their handbags or African American with their afro hair, or the fact that almost all students carried school bags.
Alienation: This is the feeling of discrimination or social isolation associated with social relationship. This unfortunate occurrence was portrayed by the young Asian Americans who could not figure out where to sit, and ended up sitting alone for the entire outing.
The social setting in the cafe was familiar to every participant and the factors that influenced these behaviors seemed to me like they never change. The setting is the same every day and the participants are the same. Everyone seemed to be well adapted.
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