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The making of pub atmospheres and George Orwell’s Moon Under Water

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Robert Shaw



This is the authors' accepted manuscript of a book chapter that has been published in its final definitive form by Routledge, 2018.

For re-use rights please refer to the publisher's terms and conditions.


“If you are asked why you favour a particular public house, it would seem natural to put the beer first, but the thing that most appeals to me about the Moon Under Water is what people call its ‘atmosphere’” (Orwell, 1946)George Orwell’s description of his ideal pub sits surprisingly close to contemporary social science use of the concept ‘atmosphere’. Blending my own participant observation work in the North-East of England with Orwell’s insights, I explore how the atmosphere of pubs is shaped both the materially and immaterially. This helps me explore how atmosphere is used to shape alcohol consumption practices, in the context of the (neo)liberalisation of the alcohol and leisure industry in the UK.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Shaw R

Editor(s): Schroer, S; Schmitt, S

Publication type: Book Chapter

Publication status: Published

Book Title: Exploring Atmospheres Ethnographically

Year: 2018

Pages: 30-44

Print publication date: 07/12/2017

Online publication date: 06/12/2017

Acceptance date: 11/10/2017

Publisher: Routledge

Place Published: Oxford


Library holdings: Search Newcastle University Library for this item

ISBN: 9781472468338