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NCJ Number: 201863 Find in a Library
Title: "Somebody's Gonna Get Their Head Kicked in Tonight!": Aggression Among Young Males in Bars, A Question of Values?
Journal: British Journal of Criminology  Volume:43  Issue:3  Dated:Summer 2003  Pages:546-566
Author(s): Kathryn Graham; Samantha Wells
Date Published: 2003
Page Count: 21
Type: Report (Study/Research)
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United Kingdom
Annotation: This Canadian study used qualitative methods to examine aggression among young males in bars regarding the role of alcohol, social context, cultural values, rewards and punishment, and motivations for aggression.
Abstract: Posters that offered $10 for participation in a telephone interview were placed at the local university as well as in three local laundromats to recruit young adult drinkers who had been involved in incidents of aggression in public drinking settings. Interviews were conducted with 21 young men with an average age of 21.3. Most were university students (76.2 percent). Respondents were asked to describe in as much detail as possible an incident of aggression that occurred in a public drinking setting. When the respondent had finished describing an incident of aggression, the interviewer reviewed the incident a second time from the very beginning, prompting for more details about the role of specific actors, actions and reactions, moods of people before and after the incident, and characteristics and alcohol consumption of participants. Respondents were asked about their feelings about the incident, whether alcohol was thought to have played a role, and factors that may have made the incident better or worse. Inductive qualitative analysis was used in reviewing the interview transcripts in order to identify emerging themes that related to the role of intoxication, the contribution of the setting, rewards and punishment for aggression, and attitudes toward and motives for barroom aggression. The findings suggest that the romance of barroom brawls and the general tolerance for aggression in bars, combined with "macho" values of many young men and expectations about the effects of alcohol, have created a social context in which male-to-male aggression is normal and accepted. A pervasive theme throughout the interviews was the general acceptance, even positive endorsement, of bar violence and the perceived lack of punishments or negative consequences associated with such behavior. Fighting was often viewed as obligatory for bar behavior, sometimes even a noble behavior. It was also apparent that many respondents and other men in the bars viewed fighting as a somewhat pleasurable and exciting activity. A significant number of the respondents considered physical aggression as legitimate and even a first option for redressing perceived conflict. Study results, along with previous similar research, suggest that public drinking among young males occurs in a highly volatile and aggressive social context similar to the general context for males who spend a lot of time on the streets, where fights are considered normative and not necessarily undesirable. 1 figure and 62 references
Main Term(s): Violent juvenile offenders
Index Term(s): Alcohol abuse; Alcohol-crime relationship; Canada; Foreign criminal justice research; Violence causes
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