Barista in the City examines the impact of paid employment and the contemporary neoliberal context on the subcultural lives of hipsters who are employed as baristas.
This book’s analysis of Philadelphia baristas employed within specialty coffee shops suggests that the existing literature on the relationship between neoliberalism and urban subcultures needs to be amended. The subcultural participants discussed within previous studies lived intensely subcultural lives that were ultimately diminished due to processes of gentrification and displacement. The subcultural lives of the baristas investigated by the authors were greatly diminished from the very beginning. Neoliberal policies, and structures of class, race, gender, and gentrification intersected with their employment in ways that diminished their ability to establish lives that constitute a full-fledged subcultural alternative. The book presents a new theoretical perspective that could aid researchers who study urban subcultures. It also discusses the implications of its analysis for urban policy.
This book is an essential update on previous scholarship pertaining to urban subcultures. It also contributes to existing literatures on baristas, hipsters, gentrification, and service sector employment within the city. It is suitable for students and scholars in Urban Sociology, Urban Studies, Cultural Studies, and the Sociology of Work.
Chapter 1: Introduction
Chapter 2: Specialty Coffee Shops and the Job of the Barista
Chapter 3: Why They Work as Baristas
Chapter 4: Class
Chapter 5: A Taste for Inclusion? Racial and Gender Inequality in a Hip, Low-Wage Service Job
Chapter 6: Baristas as Residential Gentrifiers
Chapter 7: Coffee Shops as Agents of Commercial Gentrification: Views of Coffee Shop Owners, Managers, and Baristas
Chapter 8: Conclusion