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Different waves of coffee houses as third places and the use of information and communication technology devices in these settings: a cross- case study in Ankara

Kutlay, Ecem.
The concept of ‘third place’, introduced by Ray Oldenburg in 1999, explains the need for an escape point where people can socialize, interact, have a conversation and spend time other than home or working place. In this context, the long history of coffee houses and their social role for the city are substantial. At the same time, increasing number of coffee houses, coffee shops and street cafés in urban context draw attention. Furthermore, the integration of technology to everyday life, especially the Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs), changes the dynamics of cities and coffee houses. To that end, this thesis aims to investigate (1) the types of coffee houses and to what extent they exhibit the third-place characteristics and (2) effects of ICT use on third place characteristics in the coffee houses. This research aims to put forward the variables of third places and make suggestions to support these variables to provide quality spaces for socialization. Thus, this study examines three different waves of coffee houses through a cross-case method by collecting data via site observation, survey questionnaire and Third Place Index, formed in the light of literature review. A traditional coffee house (the first wave), a coffee shop (the second wave) and a street café (the third wave) in Ulus and Bahçelievler districts in Ankara were selected as cases. Selected coffee houses were investigated to develop a better understanding of the similarities and differences between coffee houses in terms of third place characteristics and the relationship between the third-place characteristics and the use of ICT devices in these settings.