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Night-Life and Young People’s Atmospheric Mobilities

Wilkinson, Samantha and Wilkinson, C (2018) Night-Life and Young People’s Atmospheric Mobilities. Mobile Culture Studies. The Journal, 3 (2017). pp. 77-96. ISSN 2413-9181

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Abstract

This paper makes an explicit connection between atmospheres, youth drinking cultures, and mobility. The authors draw on data from long-standing and innovative qualitative methods (including interviews, participant observation, peer-interviews, and drawing-elicitation interviews), conducted with young people, aged 15-24, living in the suburban case study locations of Wythenshawe and Chorlton, Manchester, UK. We analyse young people’s alcohol-related vehicular im/mobilities, and also their bodily im/mobilities in commercial drinking spaces. We argue that consuming alcohol on transport, more than being economically beneficial, is emotionally important; young people create enjoyable affective atmospheres in taxis and buses to share with friends. Taxis and buses are not solely a means to get to nights out, they are fundamental constituents of young people’s nights out. Further, this paper shows how atmospheres in club-spaces, comprised of music, lighting, and drunken bodies, can propel young people’s bodies into action, transforming static bodies into mobile ones. This paper is novel in presenting an insight into the means through which atmospheres impact, and alter, young people’s alcohol-related experiences of both transport and bar/club spaces.

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