Social Organization in Bars: Implications for Tobacco Control Policy

By Lee, Juliet P.; Antin, Tamar M. J. et al. | Contemporary Drug Problems, Spring 2008 | Go to article overview

Social Organization in Bars: Implications for Tobacco Control Policy


Lee, Juliet P., Antin, Tamar M. J., Moore, Roland S., Contemporary Drug Problems


This article considers social roles and relationships of the patrons, staff and owners of bars as critical factors determining adherence to public health policies, and specifically California's smokefree workplace law. Specific elements of social organization in bars affecting health policy include the community within which the bar is set, the unique identity the bar creates, the bar staff and patrons who enact this identity, and their bar society. These elements were found to contribute to the development of power relations within the bar and solidarity against the outside world, resulting in either resistance to or compliance with smoke-free workplace policy.

KEY WORDS: Bars, taverns, drinking contexts, social organization, observational studies, ethnography

Public health policies related to alcohol generally and bars or other on-premise alcohol outlets specifically typically characterize bars as discrete and relatively homogenous units consisting of the physical setting, the server and other staff, and the patrons. The policies affecting these businesses and the people who work in or frequent them are placed in a variety of legal structures, including zoning ordinances and workplace legislation, as well as health codes at local, county, state, federal, and international levels. Policies focusing on alcohol outlets may include restrictions on types of alcohol permitted to be served, time of sales, minimum ages of patrons and servers, and other restrictions based on proximity to schools or on previous noncompliance with any restrictions (Edwards, Anderson, Babor, Casswell, Ferrenc, Giesbrecht, et al., 1994; Gliksman, Douglas, Rylett & Narbonne-Fortin, 1995; Grube, 1997; Laixuthai & Chaloupka, 1993; Mosher, 1999a, 1999b; Preusser & Williams, 1992; Wittman, 1997). In addition to restrictions on alcohol sales, bars and other alcohol outlets have been operationalized as the objects of public policies including smoke-free workplace ordinances restricting worker exposure to secondhand smoke (Moore, Lee, Antin & Martin, 2006; Moore, Lee, Martin, Todd & Chu, In Review; Weber, Bagwell, Fielding & Glantz, 2003) and violence and aggression (Graham, Osgood, Zibrowski, Purcell, Gliksman, Leonard, et al., 2004).

Since 1999 anthropologists at the Prevention Research Center in Berkeley, CA, have been analyzing the effects of one such policy - California Assembly Bill 13 (CAAB 13), a statewide ban on workplace smoking which in 1998 was applied to bars (Magzamen & Glantz, 2001) - by conducting a series of multi-method studies of tobacco policy compliance in bars in three California counties. Through extensive field observations and interviews we have identified wide variability within bars and aspects of bar culture which may greatly impact the success of these policies. These aspects may shape the likelihood of certain problematic health-related behaviors occurring in and around bars, such as heavy drinking, underage drinking, violence and aggression, risky sex, illicit drug use, and/or smoking cigarettes, as was the object of our studies. As observed in our studies, public health policies applied to bar settings may not be evenly upheld, applied, or enforced; we propose that the aspects of bar cultures identified here may impact the effectiveness of such policies as well.

In the following article, we will outline key aspects of bar cultures which bear on public health which we have identified through our ethnographic studies of bars. We specifically focus on social organization in bars. We define bars - also known as taverns or pubs - as those public institutions whose primary occupation is the sale and on-premise consumption of alcoholic beverages. We utilize the concept of social organization in its classical socio-anthropological sense, i.e. the interaction of persons in their relative social roles with the relationships between these persons. This article considers the social roles and relationships of bar patrons, staff and owners of bars as critical factors for health-related behaviors and adherence to public health policies.

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Social Organization in Bars: Implications for Tobacco Control Policy
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.