Week 9 – Coffee Consumption in South Korea, discussion notes

Summary – Coffee Consumption in South Korea

Group 1
– Starbucks is part of neoliberalism: represents confidence and creativity.
– modern style of coffee, rather than a tabang.
neoliberal work: flexible, creative and service-oriented. Contracts rather than full-time, security rather than welfare. Lower state spending.

Group 2
– Starbucks is an alternative space to the family, outside dominant system of patriarchy. Women feel free and in control in a cafe.
– for men, it’s too expensive.

Group 3:
– Starbucks is effeminate, against masculinity. Guys think it’s a waste of time and go drink soju instead. Men drink, play video games, sports instead.
– men have to dress up to go out and drink, but that’s changing.
– perform and reproduce masculinity. Macho is not who you are, it’s what you do.
Group 4:
– korean women are seen as feminine
– women try to raise their status. Western goods improve their image.
– women are guilty for the downfall of the Korean nation and Korean femininity.

Group 5:
– class, gender and nationalism. misogynism: hatred of women. Social conflict gets expressed in Starbucks.

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