‘If they weren’t in the pub, they probably wouldn’t even know each other’: alcohol, sociability and pub based leisure
journal contributionposted on 29.01.2021, 10:28 by Thomas Thurnell-ReadThomas Thurnell-Read
While the form and function of pubs is diverse and has changed over time, there remains an at least notional consensus that the pub plays an important social function by providing a place for people to come together in pleasurable and meaningful social interaction. Drawing on qualitative research involving focus groups with pub goers and interviews with pub staff, this paper examines the forms of sociability that take place in UK pubs. Pubs are shown to be sites for varied social interactions which differ in form, intensity and meaning. This includes regular pub going rooted in customer routines but also occasional pub going linked to a wider range of events and associated leisure activities. A common theme across these forms of pub sociability is the value placed on feelings of social connections provided by different forms of social interaction and sociability which are facilitated by the hospitable atmospheres many pubs offer. Pubs are therefore cast as important sites through which various forms of sociability are enacted and enabled. The article contributes to ongoing debates about the social role of alcohol based leisure practises but also stresses the decentring of intoxication apparent in many of these accounts and, further, indicates an increasing diversification of pub based leisure.
- Social Sciences and Humanities
- Social and Policy Studies