Urban Nightscapes: Youth Cultures, Pleasure Spaces and Corporate Power

Urban Nightscapes: Youth Cultures, Pleasure Spaces and Corporate Power

Urban Nightscapes: Youth Cultures, Pleasure Spaces and Corporate Power

Urban Nightscapes: Youth Cultures, Pleasure Spaces and Corporate Power

Synopsis

This book takes a new look at the rapidly changing aspects of urban life, examining the relationships between young adults, nightlife and city spaces. It focuses on what the authors call "urban nightscapes"--youthful and playful cultural activities in bars, pubs, night-clubs and music venues, which occur against a backdrop of increasing corporate influence in the night-time economy.

Excerpt

This book is a truly collectively written and produced endeavour in terms of work-load and intellectual input which emerged from extended discussions and debates over many hours (and the occasional beer). It goes without saying, then, that it is the product of a longstanding set of personal and academic interests we both have held around youth cultures, nightlife and cities. As with many collaborative works, the initial idea came through a meeting of two people who were working and thinking in similar areas, theoretically, methodologically and politically. One of us, a sociologist, has been researching and teaching in the area of youth studies for many years, writing books on working-class leisure (Cantelon and Hollands, 1988), youth transitions (Hollands, 1990) and youth cultures and nightlife (Hollands, 1995, 1997, 2000). The other, a geographer whose PhD was on student cultures and their impact on cities (Chatterton, 1998), continues to teach and research around urban cultures, youth identities and political activism (Chatterton, 1999, 2000, 2002). Both of us share an outlook which combines the study of political-economic forces, and in particular a concern about the increasing power of corporate and global capital in our daily lives, with critical ethnographies sensitive to the nuances of locality, agency and political resistance.

These personal and academic biographies came together most fruitfully between 2000 and 2002 at the University of Newcastle upon Tyne, when we jointly managed a research project funded by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) entitled 'Youth cultures, identities and the consumption of nightlife city spaces in three English cities' (award number R000238288). Much of the empirical data presented here is derived from this research project, which looked at the production, regulation and consumption of urban nightlife in several UK cities. This book, then, while partly emanating from our UK research project, also draws upon examples outside the UK and represents a significant extension of our thinking reported elsewhere (see Hollands and Chatterton, 2003; Chatterton and Hollands, 2001, 2002; Hollands, 2002). A more detailed methodological note appears in the introduction.

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