Centre for Alcohol and Drug Research

Ethnicity and the policing of nightclub accessibility in the Danish night-time economy

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In early club studies, nightlife domains are often depicted as scenes where class and ethno-racial boundaries are dissolved into post-modern cultural formations. This article adds to a growing body of research challenging this characterisation, by exploring how the policing of nightlife accessibility contributes to the (re)production of ethnic divisions and inequalities in nocturnal consumer spaces. Based on ethnographic research in Denmark, the article explores the key governmental rationalities informing bouncers’ exclusion of visible ethnic minority men. The article argues that bouncers’ ethnic governance is a multi-dimensional process which can be analysed using different analytical approaches. While the first part uses the concept of ‘‘vernacular risk perception’’ to highlight how bouncers’ ethnic governance is driven by loss-reductive logics, combined with prejudiced thinking, the second part uses an interactional perspective to illustrate how bouncers’ ethnic governance is also the product of situated power struggles between bouncers and minority youth. Third, I use a performative perspective to demonstrate how the exclusion of minority men is also driven by intra-group processes and implicated in bouncers’ dramatised in-group construction of masculine identities. In conclusion, I discuss how a focus on bouncers’ ethnic governance and regulation of access can contribute to the study of (nightlife) youth culture.
Original languageEnglish
JournalDrugs: Education, Prevention and Policy
Pages (from-to)256-264
Number of pages9
Publication statusPublished - 3 Jan 2017

    Research areas

  • Ethnicity , Nightlife , Policing, Discrimination, Governmental logics, Bouncers

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