As a rule, it is accepted that the social environment in which the bouncers of nightclubs and bars live and communicate is full of unreasonable violence and cruelty. The study by Winlow, Hobbs, Lister, and Hadfield (2001) is devoted to identifying the characteristics of people engaged in this profession, to examining their features and lifestyle. As the method of the research, a personal observation was chosen, which, according to the authors, helped to penetrate deeper into a particular social environment. This method was rather efficient because if the researchers had not used it, they could not have identified the details of bouncers’ lifestyles.
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During the study, the ethnographers faced some problems. In particular, as one of the members of the research introduced into the security environment noted, it was impossible to avoid unpleasant communication with drunken visitors. Besides, he claimed that there were violent incidents with serious consequences and injuries sometimes. The researcher himself performed the same actions as his temporary bouncer colleagues. According to him, some working shifts went smoothly, but if serious conflicts arose, the security forces had to resort to violent measures to suppress any forms of scandal. The authors identified that violence was an indispensable feature of bouncers’ lifestyle and their working environment. Nevertheless, they also remarked that the people of this profession always supported one another in cases of conflict.
The dangers that occurred in the process of collecting data in the natural setting proved that the method of personal observation was quite efficient, but it could have had some unpleasant consequences for the researchers themselves. If we analyze the work done, its results can be partially used for statistical data. However, the researchers are not likely to benefit from using existing data in the form of agency records or official statistics. Only one participant of the study took part in the work of only one bar, which does not allow stating that such violent incidents are typical for absolutely all entertainment places. That is why this research can be considered an example of the study of this social sphere but not a completely statistical paper.
Winlow, S., Hobbs, D., Lister, S., & Hadfield, P. (2001). Get ready to duck: Bouncers and the realities of ethnographic research on violent groups. British Journal of Criminology, 41(3), 536-548. Web.