The Cappuccino Community : cafes and civic life in the contemporary city




The Project


Cafes serving cappuccino have become prominent in many cityscapes over the last five years providing not just frothy coffee and snacks but as importantly new spaces for people to meet, relax, work, write, read and most of all talk. In the history of European civil society cafes played a key role which they only recently seem to have regained in the UK. From July 2002 until December 2004 this project will be investigating the role of cafes in urban communities in the UK, be they neighbourhood, work or virtual communities. It is assessing the cafe's changing relevance as a site for civic life and public culture. The project’s methodology is a multi-site ethnography of over a dozen different kinds of cafes, their working conditions, customer interactions, and tracing the cafes' connection into daily routines.