Paper Example on an Ethnography of Social Interaction at the Bus Stop

Published: 2023-01-05
Paper Example on an Ethnography of Social Interaction at the Bus Stop
Type of paper:  Research paper
Categories:  Communication Sociology Human behavior
Pages: 5
Wordcount: 1201 words
11 min read


I have been into several bus stop and have been making several observations when it comes to social interaction and the settings of the bus stop. My best area of concentration includes viewing interactional order in queuing by the passengers as they wait for the buses, their posture, gestures, and the overall expression of people as a participant and other on-lookers at the bus station. Because these moments captivate my attention, I usually take most of my time at the bus stage doing what I like most, that is the observation of the interactions by the people. I have a secure connection with the activities at the bus stop, and I developed this interest when I began traveling while at a tender age and it has since become a hobby. When I think of a bus station, I imagine of a group of people gathering in the open air within the shade, others in the queue waiting for the bus while the other groups mostly the teenagers make stories and laugh loudly.

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David Francis & Stephen Hester developed an Invitation to Ethnomethodology in 2004. Their primary focus is on the interaction of people in various social activities which may include different gatherings. The findings by these two authors relate to the social interaction that we observe from the people who meet at the bus stop and engage in discussions as they wait for the bus (Slobin et al, 2014).

It was on a pleasant spring Friday when I had a touch with experience with how the people interact while at the bus stop. From experience, I discovered various trends in how the people interact socially more so when it comes to their different age groups. The teenagers, the middle age and the old section, all form their discussions probably on matters that do not relate. The difference in their conversation is evident when the shouts and laughs from the teenagers appear to irritate some of the older people who look at them in a manner indicating discomfort. Hence, social interaction becomes the epicenter of this presentation by focusing on the activities that the people engage in while waiting for the bus at the bus stop (Lumen, 2018).

Observations and data analysis

Open air with a shade bus stop

At the bus stop, there exists a shaded area that provides shelter to the people as they wait for the bus. Within these shaded areas, there are seats in the form of benches that allow the people to have a rest while others find comfort in standing. The shade structures have long-lasting steel with durable hard-roofed sheets that protect the people from the adverse weather conditions such as rain and sunlight. Inside the shades are also the tables that are fixed to add more comfort to the people who spend time doing activities like feeding as they wait for the bus. The tables have wooden material with velvet seals giving them an impressive display from far. The steel shade structure is dominant in the entire bus stop spaces covering almost every area where the travelers occupy in the event of waiting for the bus. Surrounding the shades are also the hawkers engaging in the open-air sales. They move from darkness to shade while selling their products mainly food substances to the people within the bus stop.

Interaction of the people as they wait for the bus

The exchange of information between two or more parties forms the essential social interaction concept "Understanding Social Interaction | Boundless Sociology." Different ages of commuter of about 20 people comprising of kids, 4/5 teenagers, 4/5 middle age and the older people, gather and interact massively at the bus stop. This interaction takes place in a funny pattern whereby a section of the youths forms their group on one side while the middle age also gathers differently and lastly the older group too forming their part. Majority of the people have their luggage such as bags, and others with trolley are probably assisting them in moving their baggage within the bus stop.

These people interact in different ways with teenagers laughing in loud voices attracting the attention of other people who look at them, but this does not scare them either. Some of the children show discomfort with this condition while others break into tears. The remaining section of the older people seems to show their concern to the current issues affecting the nation and are do not show signs of satisfaction with the state of the economy. Moreover, the older group also engage in the purchase of various food item that is selling at the bus stop, seemingly due to the responsibility their hold back at home. The interaction continues as the commuters engage in more captivating discussions as loud laughs continue emerging from the section of the teenagers who keep interfering with everyone else' attention.

Maintaining the queue and getting into the bus

At the bus stop, people do not follow the prescribed order of following the queue. Several crowds in the form of lines exist between the shades making it difficult for the people arriving to identify the right track for getting into the bus. The people stand scattered and the attempt by the bus stop guards to organize them remain in vain. They defiantly move in and out of the queue with others hijacking the lines and displacing others. Again, the stories and discussions continue in the lines as the people wait for the arrival of the bus. Anyone arriving may remain wondering if the queue exists and their essence at the bus stop.

When the bus comes, the people automatically join lines, and a stampede begins, people run and some shout "After you" "After you." Others with extra strength book space for their friends who later come and occupy such spaces. Majority of the people show no patience, and as others confirm their bus tickets with the conductors, others take their cards from the bus driver. The show continues, and becomes more intense, people who stood first managed to get into the bus first while those who stood last missed the bus.


In conclusion, ethnology of social interaction presents a case of commuters at the bus stop who engage in various activities and communication as they wait for the bus. They engage in group talks and discussions with the youths shouting and laughing loudly. Besides, these people do not follow the conventional means of queuing at the bus station but end up forming crowds that make it challenging to identify the real queue for the process. However, when the bus comes, they quickly return to the line and create stampede with the majority of them shouting and verbally booking the spaces. It becomes a case of first come first serve and those that were lucky to join the queue first get the areas into the bus while the ones who joined last miss space.


SLOBIN, D. I., GERHARDT, J., KYRATZIS, A., & GUO, J. (2014). Social interaction, Social Context, and Language: Essays in Honor of Susan Ervin-tripp. Hoboken, Taylor and Francis.

Lumen, 2018. Understanding Social Interaction | Boundless Sociology.[Online] (updated 4 Feb. 2018) Available at:

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