Third Places Research Paper

According to Oldenburg (1999) the term third place is used to “describe the public spaces used for informal social interaction outside of the home and workplace.” (Soukup, p.421). Third places are public spaces that provided “unique functions within a local community.” Oldenburg’s criteria for traditional third spaces stated that they must be on a neutral ground, must be social leveler, must be accessible, driven by communication, must have regulars, and a playful mood. Furthermore, third places offered relief from the daily demands of work and home life. Bars and cafés offer people direct, formal, in-person human interaction and connection.
The use of third places was advantageous for both the individual and the community by providing a number of benefits. For the individual, third places were a place to go free of stress and provided a sense of belonging. A great example of a third place and the relationship between an individual and a “traditional” third place is represented in the television show Cheers. Cheers was a fictional bar located in Boston, the atmosphere was laid back and had the motto of “Where everyone knows your name.” The bar was the cornerstone in the community. Many people
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While anyone in a traditional community can access a local bar, virtual spaces have barriers. 41% of the online population is made up of North Americans, while 4% is from South America. In 2002, 90% of the online world was made up of Caucasians (Soukup, p. 428). Access to the internet also includes training and knowledge to utilize the internet, chat rooms and blogs. Therefore, accessibility is more than owning a computer or having internet access, it also requires the knowledge to utilize the internet to effectively communicate. Accessibility can be argued against in the traditional model. Socio-economic standing can play into a person’s ability to gain access to certain venues or

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