The History and Context of Club Culture Essay example

The History and Context of Club Culture Essay example

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The History and Context of Club Culture

"History is hard to know because of all the hired bullshit, but

even without being sure of history it seems entirely reasonable

that every now and then the energy of a whole generation comes

to a head in a long fine flash, for reasons that nobody really

understands at the time, and which never explain, in retrospect,

what really happened"

(Hunter.S.Thompson, "Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas")

The late 1980's saw the emergence of a hugely significant social
phenomenon. Rave culture (or club culture as it is now most commonly
referred to), is of massive appeal to many young people and statistics
by Mintel show that 15.7 million people in Britain go clubbing each
weekend (Mintel:1996). Clubbing has become a major cultural industry
and cities such as Sheffield, Leeds and Manchester to name but a few,
all have well developed clubbing industries making a substantial
contribution to the local cities economy. Many cities have actively
pursued inner city regeneration programmes partially based on the
nighttime economy and attraction of clubbers (Malbon 1999:6).

Club culture has become a notable area of study for two main reasons.
Firstly because of the ever increasing scale of its appeal in modern
society, and secondly because of the largely negative social reaction
it has received from the media, police and the government. This led to
a major moral panic surrounding rave culture, with key debates
centring on the culture's relationship with the illegal drug ecstasy.
The fear was that this culture would encompass all youth; it therefore
constituted a threat to both the social and moral ...

... middle of paper ...

...ut even being old enough to attend the
club. Magazines such as 'Mixmag', 'Musik' and 'Ministry' have all
referred to these clubs as 'brand names'. In addition to this the
Island of Ibiza has been described as "the clubbing Mecca" (Mixmag
June 2002), attracting thousands of young British clubbers each year
with one aim - to club! Despite the massive possibilities this pastime
holds for study "the latest and by a long way probably the largest and
most influential of recent young people's cultures or styles in
Britain can be found in club cultures" (Malbon 1999:16), the
sociological literature on the topic is in fact quite sparse, and what
is available tends to be quite diverse and with distinct


[1] See Appendix for definitions

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