This text is an attempt to understand Britain's night-time economy, the violence that pervades it, and the bouncers whose job it is to prevent it. Britain's rapidly expanding night-life is one of the countries most vibrant economic spheres, but it has created huge problems of violence and disorder
In recent years, the expansion of night-time leisure has emerged as a key indicator of post-industrial urban prosperity, attracting investment, creating employment and re-generating the built environment.
These leisure economies are youth-dominated, focusing upon the sale and consumption of alcohol. Unprecedented numbers of young people now flock to town centres that are crammed with bars, pubs and clubs, and the resulting violent disorder has over run police resources that remain geared to the drinking patterns and alcohol cultures of previous generations.
Post-industrial re-structuring has spawned an increasingly complex mass of night-time leisure options through which numerous licit and illicit commercial opportunities flow. Yet, regardless of the fashionable and romantic notions of many contemporary urban theorists, it is alcohol, mass intoxication and profit rather than 'cultural regeneration,' which lies at the heart of this rapidly expanding dimension of post-industrial urbanism.
Private security in the bulky form of bouncers fills the void left by the public police. These men (only 7% are women), whose activities are barely regulated by the State, are dominated by a powerful subculture rooted in routine violence and intimidation. Using ethnography, participant observation and extensive interviews with all the main players, this controversial book charts the emergence of the bouncer as one of the most graphic symbols in the iconography of post industrial
Review from previous edition Hobbs is without doubt Britain's most insightful and penetrating criminological ethnographer, and he uses his skill to provide an extremely useful service...my advice to all interested academics and students is to get a copy, read it, and keep it as a principal guide book to take with you on your theoretical excursions into the subject of professional crime.
International Journal of Sociology and Law||His book contains the thrills of voyeuristic participation in a world of almost untramelled opportunities for hedonistic pleasure, with the frisson of realisation that burgalries and robberies are the price we pay as victims. This book conveys a fascinating if disturbing sense of the complex, messy lives of those in the bad business.
Times Literary Supplement||Dick Hobbs has succeeded at every level...this is a very good book. It is written with confidence and gusto, in a way which makes the subjects ... come to life.
New Law Journal||Dick Hobb's research has always traversed the large distance between the criminal and the criminologist and his writing the even larger gap between the novelist and the academic. This has meant that his books are as full of characters as facts and of wry comment as dry analysis and Bouncers is no exception.
The Howard Journal of Criminal Justice||... a comprehensive account of bouncers: their occupational culture, their role in the alcohol fuelled expanding night-time economy and the failure of all strata of regulation to contain the violence which is endemic within it.
The Howard Journal of Criminal Justice||... may be read and enjoyed at a variety of levels ... may also be read with profit by those interested in richly-woven descriptions of the life of doormen, their adventures, their sense of chivalry and of 'rough justice', and the legal and extra-legal codes that govern their conduct ... a serious social study that charms and enthrals.
Law Society Journal||... a pioneering and exciting study that opens up for police researchers, criminologists, urban ethnographers and sociologists a fascinating look into the night-time economy...