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Public drunkenness as a nuisance in Ghent (Belgium) and Trento (Italy)

Di Ronco, A (2016) 'Public drunkenness as a nuisance in Ghent (Belgium) and Trento (Italy).' Crime, Law and Social Change, 66 (1). 59 - 81. ISSN 0925-4994

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Abstract

This article explores the reality of the nuisance of public drunkenness in one nightlife location of Ghent (Belgium) and in one of Trento (Italy) and inspects the way alcohol-related disorder is viewed and tackled by police officers there. Drawing on the literature arguing for the existence of different "cultures of drinking" in western and southern European countries, a distinct reality of the nuisance of public drunkenness was hypothesized to be present in these two cities. Against the backdrop of cultural criminology scholarship and of the national literature on policing practices, it was expected that the physical/aesthetic appearance of street drinkers would differently impact on the way police officers there represent alcohol-related disorder and enforce national and local nuisance regulations. The gathered data indicate that while drinking patterns and connected disorderly behavior do not significantly vary in Ghent and in Trento, the aesthetic/physical characteristics of certain groups of people play a role in shaping the representations of some police officers in Trento. The study concludes that cultural and context-specific factors, including those linked to the cultures of drinking and to aesthetics, should be considered in criminological research to more fully understand and explain the different policing views on and attitudes to alcohol-related disorder in inner-city nightlife areas. In its conclusions, the article also highlights some directions for future research.

Item Type: Article
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HM Sociology
Divisions: Faculty of Social Sciences > Sociology, Department of
Depositing User: Anna Di Ronco
Date Deposited: 30 Sep 2016 15:17
Last Modified: 07 Dec 2017 15:15
URI: http://repository.essex.ac.uk/id/eprint/17684

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