Sociology and Coffee

900 words 4 pages
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.
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When these groups with extensive powers come together with similar values, they legitimize their hold on the product of coffee. Similar to how the colonial powers dictated the route of coffee, these powerful groups with similar ideologies, will be able to control the market and decide if and how much coffee other countries will receive. This will cause rank division and ultimately lead to class conflict among nations. The powerful groups actually prefer these conflicts though, because it enables them to show their strength and have a stronger say in the coffee market.
The sociological nature of coffee consumption can be defined through three theoretical methods. The first is symbolic interactionism and involves the observation of coffee as a symbol within society. Coffee can be regarded as an energy beverage, since it allows consumers to go on when tired. The second is functionalism and involves the chain of events which lead coffee from the farms around the world to the consumer. Coffee goes through a lot of steps to reach consumers around the world, but most are not aware of the long journey it experiences. The third is Marxism and involves the groups, mostly the wealthy, who are in favor of changing policies to receive more coffee and dictate the market due to their wealth and similar ideals. The countries which produce the coffee as


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