Bouncers and the social context of violence: Masculinity, class and violence in the night-time economy

Simon Winlow, Dick Hobbs, Stuart Lister, Phil Hadfield

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review

12 Citations (Scopus)


Perhaps the most pervasive stereotypical view of bouncers is of a bunch of bowtied, muscle-bound, simian thugs, devoid of social skills, oozing aggression and itching to deploy staggeringly proficient violence on anyone whom they deem to have violated their archaic and incomprehensible code of reason and ethics. As is the case with many stereotypes, this representation tells us as much about ourselves as it does about the focus of our analysis. Bouncers are not, for the most part, the creatures of this stereotypical image. To simplify the occupational role of bouncers, they are paid to control and constrain a group of consumers often hell-bent on carnivalesque abandon, and for this reason if nothing else, bouncing represents perhaps one of the most problematic occupational spheres in post-industrial Britain. In this chapter, we intend to offer a tentative look at the night-time economy as an economic and cultural environment, with the hope of contextualising both the violence that occurs there with alarming regularity and the occupational role of bouncers employed to police this environment.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Meanings of Violence
Place of PublicationAbingdon
PublisherTaylor & Francis
Number of pages19
ISBN (Electronic)9781134418220
ISBN (Print)9780415301305
Publication statusPublished - 2003
Externally publishedYes


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