For Professor Stanton’s Anthropology of Global Cities course, we were tasked with conducting a simple ethnography of Union Square in Somerville, MA. We were to choose an aspect of the square and fit it into David Harvey’s matrix classifying and comparing different kinds of space.
Being a senior, I did not know much about Union Square other than that it had a vibrant bar scene. For this project, I focused my analysis on Precinct Bar. During the afternoon on Sunday, February 12th, I visited Precinct Bar and spoke with several patrons, bartenders, and servers. I got a feel for the defining characteristics of the square and the important issues pertaining to it based on topics that kept coming up in conversation.
I quickly realized that to locate Precinct Bar in the larger portrait of Union Square, I would have to attach it to the issues that were important to the bar, its patrons, and its staff. On the Precinct Bar page, I analyze the bar in the context of David Harvey’s matrix for classifying space. However, in several pages linked off of the Precinct Bar page, I explore other topics and concepts that connect the bar to the greater Union Square.
Finally, check out the Map! This custom Google Map will help you visualize the square, the bars, and see how they fit into the larger Union Square.