Publication Date


Document Type


First Advisor

Wilson, Steven R. (Steven Robert), 1960-

Degree Name

M.A. (Master of Arts)

Legacy Department

Department of Communication Studies


Tea--Great Britain; Tea--Ireland; Great Britain--Social life and customs--20th century; Ireland--Social life and customs--20th century


This thesis discussed teatime in Britain and the Republic of Ireland. More specifically, the study focused on the ways non-natives to these areas participate in tea drinking when visiting these countries. The main objectives of this study were: 1) to describe the structure of a prototypical teatime event; 2) to discover what is the structure of teatime as it is practiced among the members of a transient community; and 3) to consider ways that the event is similar and different between these two communities. In order to reach these objectives an interpretive field study approach was utilized. This approach included individual and group interviews of both natives and non-natives. The interviews were audio-taped and later analyzed for information that helped to reach those objectives. In addition to the interviews, detailed field notes and a daily diary were kept to provide more specific insight on teatime and its participants. The structure of teatime in both communities was complex and marked by specific sets of rules and norms. However, I found that teatime as it is practiced among the transient community members included some of the more salient aspects of the event as it was practiced among natives. Additionally, with the commercialization of tea drinking through establishments called “tea rooms,” visitors were on some levels kept distant from truly experiencing British culture.


Includes bibliographical references (pages 49-51)


v, 59 pages




Northern Illinois University

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