The regulation of nightlife and the production of social differentiation: regeneration and licensing in Southview

Talbot, Deborah Helen (2002) The regulation of nightlife and the production of social differentiation: regeneration and licensing in Southview. PhD thesis, Middlesex University. [Thesis]

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This thesis attempts to address the reasons why, in the anonymous case study of Southview, a 'night-time economy', based around the consumer demands of a young white popUlation, came to predominate in an area largely defined by its African/Caribbean population and the cultural forms arising from that population. It examines the interrelationship between culture, economy and law. Specifically, this involves examining the interface between the different cultural forms and meanings of nightlife, forms of regeneration initiatives and licensing law and practice in the locality. The research uses an anonymous case study to examine these interrelationships through a combination of ethnographic techniques, semi-structured interviews and documentary

Chapters One and Two deal with relevant literature, methodology and research design. Then, the research findings are presented in an approximation of a chronological order, whilst examining the key processes involved in the change and transformation of nightlife spaces. Chapter Three explores the way in which historical conflicts defmed and
bound the locality. Chapter Four examines the conflicts emerging from economic development plans and the differing interpretation given by different populations. Chapter Five outlines the conflicts and dynamics involved in the development of the 'night-time economy' in Southview. Chapters Six and Seven explore the issues of subjectivity and differentiation that arise in the formal and informal processes of licensing law and practice. The conclusion attempts to examine the interrelationship between culture, economy and law in explaining both the process of change and the
reproduction of social differentiation.

While the research found that there were no long-term strategic plans to convert nightlife spaces in the area, a conjunction of local institutional subjectivities, practices and legal or regulatory strictures served to re-orientate or 'normalise' local nightlife, and in the process eliminate or exclude some of the key cultural forms of the Afro-Caribbean
population. This involved a number of interrelated processes. First, the evolution of a racialised problematisation of the locality that impacted upon the development and
marginalisation of forms of black entertainment. Second, a combination of regeneration and policing initiatives aimed at normalising and reclaiming unregulated space, although
to different degrees of intent. Third, the application of licensing law and its local interpretation that reproduced and concretised this process of differentiation. Finally, the
impact of the growth of a population of young professionals who were overwhelmingly represented in the new night-time economy and who exhibited specific forms of spatial
consciousness. The interrelationship of such multi-causal processes, it is argued, highlights the importance of complexity in explanation, in that separate elements of the
whole are largely unrelated and unconscious of the other. However, the impact of such processes served to create new social differentials based on an evolving combination of
class and racial exclusion, and in doing so sideline the potential of experimentation and diversity within nightlife spaces.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Research Areas: B. > Theses
Item ID: 13638
Depositing User: Adam Miller
Date Deposited: 30 Jan 2015 11:43
Last Modified: 21 Jun 2021 16:46

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