Rounds, Range Rovers and rurality: The drinking geographies of a New Squirearchy

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In an article detailing the ``cultural terrain'' of the village inn, Maye, Ilbery, and Kneafsey (2005) recently argued for the need of more culturally informed geographical work on the changing nature of the public house. A possible avenue of investigation, it is suggested, is a consideration of how various consumers make ``sense'' of their pubs, and how different practises and meanings overlay each other within this quintessentially rural setting. In undertaking such studies, notions of heterogeneous association and ``lifescape'' may be usefully employed in shedding light on the peculiar mixture of people, objects and interactions within this space. Drawing upon ethnographic research undertaken in a Bedfordshire pub, the ``Six Tuns'', this paper will consider a collective labelled the ``New Squirearchy''; a fraction of local residents who may be loosely defined through their apparent efforts to recreate the perceived roles and lifestyle of the archetypal English country gentleman. Here it is argued that the public house acts as a key space in which this identity is overtly negotiated and played out, and one that is appropriated within the midst of other pub-dwellers by these ``New Squires''
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)315-321
Number of pages7
JournalDrugs: Education, Prevention & Policy
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 01 Jun 2008


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