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Bar WarsContesting the Night in Contemporary British Cities$
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Phil Hadfield

Print publication date: 2006

Print ISBN-13: 9780199297856

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2009

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199297856.001.0001

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Behind Bars: Social Control in Licensed Premises

Behind Bars: Social Control in Licensed Premises

(p.81) 4 Behind Bars: Social Control in Licensed Premises
Bar Wars

Phil Hadfield

Oxford University Press

The ability to control the behaviour of one's customers is essential to the successful operation of licensed premises. In exploring the constitution of and application of control, this chapter highlights a key conceptual deficiency of previous studies; namely, the tendency to focus upon individual elements of the security agenda such as venue design, managerial style, and the application of discretion by door staff. One issue that has been insufficiently explored is the extent to which controls are applied strategically and diffusely to manipulate the mood and behaviour of those customers who are granted entry. These controls are applied through aspects of music selection and presentation, drinks serving and pricing policies, niche marketing, and other aspects of routine operational practice. Following Goffman, such strategic interaction is analysed in terms of its co-produced elements — members of staff working together as a team to mould certain forms of social order.

Keywords:   barroom environments, music policy, Goffman, impression management, strategic interaction

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