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Three Local Pubs
Trevor Jones, Dawn Henderson and Su-Jen Lai
Outline of Research Methods
We chose three pubs to research and contrast: two city centre pubs and one country pub. We took photographs, informally interviewed people and observed the way in which literacy was used in a typical pub setting. We then found that literacy practices reflected the social practices and lifestyles of the clientele.
This pub is a typical country village pub that caters almost wholly for the local community. It is largely frequented by white, working lass customers who enjoy a variety of entertainment and sporting activities. Barton (1994:90) Points out that "even in the most seemingly literate of environments, such , as the law court, a schoolroom or a university office, most of the conventions of how to act and what to do are passed on orally". We found that it did not apply to this particular pub where a supposedly social/oral environment had writtem reminders of what is acceptable behaviour elsewhere. We also discovered that there are two distinct types of notice: one with a legal requirement and the other purely providing information.
City Centre Pub 1
This pub is a city pub that caters for a white, working lass clientele. There are two distinct groups of customer who frequent the pub. One is those lunchtime customers who consist of older regulars, shoppers and local workers who are calling in for a lunchtime drink and/or meal. Another is those who tend to b younger and they wish to participate in karaoke, discos, pool or to watch television in the evening. The pub uses ‘chalk’ artwork as a medium for advertising and providing information for customers.
City Centre Pub 2
This pub is a city pub with a cosmopolitan atmosphere and varied clientele who comprise of a wide range of age and social class. There is a strong emphasis on ‘live’ music and literacy is used widely to support this key activity. There is strong evidence of posters and labelled and signed photographs of musicians and artists who have performed in the pub. There are also leaflets advertising and promoting local cultural events that are on display and are freely available to customers. The pub has a ‘reading corner’ which offers magazines, newspapers and books. In Contrast to the two previous pubs, the third pub caters for amore sophisticated and highly literate clientele who enjoy reading humorous anecdotes, appreciate live music and expect a wide range of good food and drink. To conclude, we felt that the literacy we experience in these three pubs reflected the lifestyle and the social practices of the people frequenting them
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