The public house in the rural community

Markham, Claire Louise (2014) The public house in the rural community. PhD thesis, University of Lincoln.

23378 Markham Claire Louise - Social Policy - December 2014.pdf
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Item Type:Thesis (PhD)
Item Status:Live Archive


This thesis seeks to explore and understand how people perceive and experience the
village pub. There has, over the course of time, been a general decline in the social and
economic importance of the village pub as well as in their number. The decline in
number has accelerated in recent years and been the focus of much media attention with
some reports claiming that it has negative consequences for rural life (see, for example,
Hill, 2008; Scruton, 2006). Despite this there has been very little social science research
conducted on this topic. This research helps to fill this knowledge gap. By using
empirical data, principally collected in villages in Lincolnshire and from various groups
(mainly newcomer residents, long-standing residents and publicans) to explore multiple
representations of the village pub this thesis provides an in-depth exploration and
interpretation of the values underpinning the research participants’ representations and
experiences of the village pub. In doing this, the thesis shows that village pubs are seen
and experienced as adding value of different kinds – economic, social, and cultural, and
that the different groups attach different levels of importance to these kinds of value. It
also shows that, whilst the different kinds of value can work in the Bourdieusian
interpretation as capital, and be self-expanding and inter-convertible, they can also work
to undermine one another. By showing how the village pub is seen through the lens of
nostalgia and the rural idyll and that contradictions exist between how the village pub is
remembered or imagined and how it ‘really’ is, this thesis contributes to rural studies
literature and, more specifically, to that which engages with the cultural turn as well as
to pub literature. The thesis also offers a contribution to practice. It does this first, by
imparting knowledge, to different groups, on the types (economic, social and cultural)
of diversification that can be used to help sustain village pubs, especially in
Lincolnshire; and second, by showing those groups that beliefs and practices around
diversification have important consequences for the sustainability of village pubs.

Keywords:Community, Rural, Public house
Subjects:L Social studies > L410 UK Social Policy
L Social studies > L610 Social and Cultural Anthropology
Divisions:College of Social Science > School of Social & Political Sciences
ID Code:23378
Deposited On:30 Jun 2016 10:15

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