Home > Bar wars: contesting the night in contemporary Britain.

Hadfield, Philip M (2006) Bar wars: contesting the night in contemporary Britain. Clarendon studies in criminology Oxford: Oxford University Press .

In Britain today, if you are in the business of fighting crime, then you have to be in the business of dealing with alcohol. 'Binge drinking' culture is intrinsic to urban leisure and has come to pose a key threat to public order. Unsurprisingly, a struggle is occurring. Pub and club companies, local authorities, central government, the police, the judiciary, local residents, and revelers, all hold variously competing notions of night-time social order and the uses and meanings of public and private space. Bar Wars explores the issue of contestation within and between these groups. Located within a long tradition of urban ethnography, the book offers unique and hard-hitting analyses of social control in bars and clubs, courtroom battles between local communities and the drinks industry, and street-level policing, These issues go the heart of contemporary debates on anti-social behavior and were hotly debated during the development of the Licensing Act 2003 and its contentious passage through Parliament.

The book presents a controversial critique of recent shifts in national alcohol policy. It uses historical, documentary, interview, and observational methods to chart the emergence of the 'night-time high street,' a social environment set aside for the exclusive purposes of mass hedonistic consumption, and describes the political and regulatory struggles that help shape important aspects of urban life. The book identifies the adversarial licensing trial as a key arena of contestation and describes how leisure corporations and their legal champions circumvent regulatory control in courtroom duels with subordinate opponents. The author's experiences as an expert witness to the licensing courts provide a unique perspective, setting his work apart from other academic commentators.


Item Type:Book
Date:2006
Call No:MC8, BB
Pages:x, 326
Publisher:Oxford University Press
Place of Publication:Oxford
ISBN:978-0-19-929786-3
Keywords:AOD use, problem drinking, drinking behavior, binge drinking, licensing, drinking venue, drinking venue, bar, cultural patterns of drinking, criminal justice system, public policy on AOD, general topics in research, field work, United Kingdom, club scene, government policy
Notes:Includes a glossary, references and an index.
EndNote:View
Accession Number:HRB 3590 (Available)
Subjects:L Social psychology and related concepts > Social context > Context encouraging substance use
MM-MO Crime and law > Public order offence
A Substance use, abuse, and dependence > Substance related societal (social) problems > Public intoxication
L Social psychology and related concepts > Social context
VA Geographic area > Europe > United Kingdom
L Social psychology and related concepts > Availability, accessibility, and use
L Social psychology and related concepts > Physical context or place > Alcohol beverage sales outlet
L Social psychology and related concepts > Physical context or place > Space or location for substance use
L Social psychology and related concepts > Legal availability or accessibility
MM-MO Crime and law > Substance use laws > Alcohol (liquor licensing) laws
MA-ML Social science, culture and community > Sociocultural aspects of substance use
MP-MR Policy, planning, economics, work and social services > Policy > Policy on substance use
A Substance use, abuse, and dependence > Prevalence > Substance use behaviour > Alcohol consumption > Binge / risky drinking

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