Ch. 5 Third Place

When Fellner spent the day at a newly opened Starbucks outside of Washington DC, he encountered many different types of people with different opinions on Starbucks. Among many of the comments he recorded, there is an underlying theme of Third Place that appears in many responses. The first main indication that Third place is present at this Starbucks was the employees. As this was a newly opened store, Fellner got to see firsthand some of the training process. This also allowed Fellner to get a chance to talk to employees about the benefits of working there. Through the interviews with the employees, the presence of Starbucks being a leveler is clearly seen. One direct quote that emphasized the presence of a leveling environment was “Her mentors have been Korean, German, Venezuelan, and African American”(111). In addition to this quote which shows a leveling in the sense of nationality or race, there is also evidence of other aspects being leveled. For instance, this new Starbucks is built in a primarily poor district which levels class. The store itself also levels age as it discusses “Moms with kids, teens with Frappuccinos and lots of whipped cream, everyone was in good spirits.” (110). Another way it is a leveler is in the consept that it gives people of all ages a chance to earn a decent wage and work towards a goal. By doing this they are allowing anyone the chance to move up in the world and have an opportunity to make money to go to college or to work towards a promotion which they may not have had otherwise.

Another sign of third place seen in this chapter is when the barista was trying to give away a leftover wrong drink. When nobody takes the drink her remarks “Is there something about free you don’t understand?” to this another customer responds “you didn’t spell it right”. This quip back shows evidence of Starbucks being a place where the mood is playful which is one of the signs associated with third place. This also shows signs of Starbucks being almost home like in the sense that one can joke around carelessly.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *