Consuming the City
The practice of marketing has long been held within the contemporary setting as being (along with consumption) intrinsically linked to the formation of identity, and consumers within the night-time economy (NTE) in particular are viewed as being especially susceptible to, or placing the most value upon the consumption-driven signals of identity. At least, as far as the NTE is concerned, it seems reasonable to suggest that marketing materials and artefacts have become ‘miasma in the ethereal identities and microcultures of . youth in ways that naturalise, normalise and encourage alcohol consumption’ (McCreanor et al., 2005: 26). The layers of branding and marketisation are overtly displayed within an arena that serves to reward ostentation and standing out from the crowd. The relationship between alcohol consumption and fashion is strong. Enter any of the Vertical Drinking Establishments such as The Slug and Lettuce, Pitcher & Piano or All Bar One on any high street in the UK and it is clear that there is much more going on than the satiation of the singular desire to quench a thirst. Whether part of the after-work crowd or later in the evening, consumption is far from inconspicuous, and it is impossible to see anonymous pint pots of ale being drunk — bottles are highly visible, and spirits asked for by name, while ‘export’ lagers are drunk from the bottle or from ostentatious vessels branded with frosted typography or bold, golden swirls and flourishes.
KeywordsHigh Street Symbolic Capital Late Twenty Drinking Experience Alcohol Industry
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