Brasileira. More than a café, a place of meaning and identity-community

Abstract: This article aims to highlight the different ways in which the customers of A Brasileira, in Braga, appropriate the coffee-shop. It is transformed into a simultaneously personal place, which one inscribes in their routines, appointments with friends and acquaintances, memories and life stories. But it is also an impersonal place, not in the sense of the experience of indifference, but of the expansion of the experience to the ways of being-with (Heidegger, 2004, 2005), or of remembering-with (Candau, 2005/2013; Halbwachs, 1925/1994). For this purpose, we sought to contribute to the enhancement of the sense of community (Maffesoli, 2000; Tönnies, 1944/2010) and of belonging that is urgent to rescue, especially in times of increasing celerity, as well as progressive de-characterization and “nudification” (Zukin, 2009) of urban space. This research allows us to conclude that the coffee-shop A Brasileira presents itself as a place of resistance. At the same time, inevitable changes are observed there, resulting from phenomena such as “touristification” (Harris et al., 2012), but also of deep underhand operations, expressive of a changing culture. In this framework, we also find unexpected cracks in creativity (Certeau, 1998) as to the way in which each one appropriates the lived place, reinventing a unique way of finding oneself in everyday life, in connection with a micro-community sense.

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Helena Pires


Sociologia Online - Revista da Associação Portuguesa de Sociologia