Madelyn’s Human Ethology Assignment

How to Pick-up Someone at a Starbucks

            Focal Sampling: On Sunday February 10th at 2pm I arrived at Starbucks in the Ferguson Center. I sat down in a central location and started to scope out the person I was going to observe. A man, in his late-twenties or early thirties, walked into the Starbucks and got a Grande Latte. After his name was called he got his drink and sat down at a round table. A few minutes later a woman sat down at the table with him and he began talking to her. He pauses what he is doing to look at her and listen to what she is saying then motions her to sit down next to him. She sits down and begins to talk to him. When she is talking the man looks up from his computer and leans in towards her. He also places his index and middle finger on his lips and his palm under his chin. Whenever she pauses he begins to nod his head in agreement. She finishes talking and then they continue to do work for the rest of the time period. During this time of observation I noticed that the man was leaning in towards the woman.  This indicated his general interest in her and his body language shows that he is attracted to her. Because his fingers are near his mouth that draws attention to his lips.

Scan Sampling: The first group I observed was a group of young women who were getting drinks and pastries. They talked loudly and eventually sat down and did a bit of homework. The second group I observed was a group of men who were speaking a different language. One man ordered all the drinks for the people he was with and they continued to speak in a different language. On my third sampling two people got their coffee and sat down and had a discussion until my observation time was over.

Author: Johnna Dominguez

Johnna Dominguez earned her BA in Interdisciplinary Studies: Cultural Studies and Body Politics from the University of Alabama's New College in May 2011. In her senior thesis, Johnna explored the embodiment of identity through sexuality and sports by observing and studying Alabama football fans and participants in the local burlesque troupe, the Pink Box Burlesque. In her Master's thesis, she is investigating the psychological and physical stresses associated with southern women who get tattoos. After completing her Master's in Anthropology, she hopes to return to school for a Master's in Public Health.

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