The research seeks an inquiry into the relationship between public drinking and violence. The research also seeks to understand the role of situational factors and management factors in alcohol related violence. It is believed that Australia is becoming more violent, and nothing is being done about it. The research therefore, seeks to understand the role alcohol plays in the overall violence in the pubs. It seeks to understand whether alcohol in itself instigates violence of should human nature be a part of the equation. The research chose four high-risk and two low-risk premises as subjects for comparison. The research also evaluated violent and non-violent scenarios in both scenarios. The research question is important since it determines the risk factors enhancing violent occurrences resulting in Australia.
The theoretical framework of the study is based on various writers who believe that violence in Australia is getting out of hand (Homel, Tomsen, & Thommeny, 1992). The National Committee on violence, for example, set out to determine the causes of violence and recommended policy statements on how to curb this situation. The document proposed that violence was usually an act involving parties that knew each other, as opposed to strangers. Other literature indicate that violence occurred mostly in routine circumstance of daily life, for example, most homicides involve inmates in their homes because of the circumstances of their dangerous lives. However, a counter argument suggests that violence should not be blamed on social decadence but on to freedom and the prosperous nature of Australia. The literature review pointed to the fact that there are activities such as alcohol intake that predispose individuals to violent behavior. The review recognized that more than three-quarter of adults are occasional drinkers and one in ten seen as heavy drinkers.
In addition, the review indicted that eighty percent of violent offenders in America who wee caught had significant alcohol content in their systems. It also established that forty percent of serious assault cases involved individuals who were intoxicated with alcohol. Police statistics downplay the relevance of alcohol intake as being a major factor in most violent crimes. This is due to the reluctance of the police to record violent crimes that are alcohol related as opposed to the non-related alcohol cases. The rationale is that if alcohol is considered a routine activity, then it should not be a surprise to find violent people with an alcohol content in their blood. However that may be true, it does not change the facts of the evidence that most individuals involved in violent crime take alcohol. Past ethnographic studies into alcohol have not so much been related to alcohol. Anthropologists have exclaimed at the lack of inquest on violence an alcohol. Anthropological inquiries have made consumption a key issue but have brought out the relation between alcohol and violence. These assumptions have presented genuine basis for the study to look at pubs, the management and situational factors instigating violence.
The hypotheses derived for the literature review is that alcohol or the environment within which alcohol is taken may be the real cause of violence. Alcohol intake is a routine element in many people’s lives. Therefore, alcohol should not be the only culprit that predisposes people to violence. This hypothesis points to other factors as being the cause of violence when people are under the influence of alcohol. For example, attitudes, crowding in pubs, overzealous bouncers in clubs and pubs or discomfort may be the real cause of violence. The theoretical framework as presented in the literature review shows that most violent crimes reported involve alcohol. The assumptions made by the study about violence being connected to violence are justified. The assumption deserves an analytical inquiry ascertaining its viability. The study ultimately tries to determine the connection between public alcohol consumption and violence in Australia. This is done through observing two environments that attempt to expose the truth about alcohol and violence.
The writers decided to use a qualitative method that. The study employed an unstructured observation methodology in sample premises for the study. The study also used semi-structured interviews with the police, licensing officers, security personnel and magistrates. The aim of the study was to contrast situational dependencies and the management practices in a small number of premises that have high rates of violence, and those with low violence incidences and their capability to quell the violence. Using this design, the observers are able to experience how violent situations arise. This would enable them determine the role of alcohol in violent outbursts. The study identified four high-risk premises and two low-risk premises based on police information. The qualitative analysis allows the observers to get a first hand view of the happenings in the pubs and clubs. The writers were driven to choose the qualitative research from a Vancouver research that recommended a study requiring the researchers to insert themselves in the drinking environments to get the correct analysis. This was considered a more effective way of gathering the necessary data on violence and alcohol.
The results presented interesting observations. Thirty-two assaults were identified in the course of the study that displayed considerable levels of physical violence. It was found that victims are the ones who usually attracted the violence. Assailants both patrons and staff chose their victims. In most cases, they are fewer, younger and highly intoxicated. One crucial thing to note is that the violence observed was not caused due to public drinking but to other obscure factors. These include the patron type, drinking patterns, social atmosphere, and door attendants. Most violent patrons were young working class individuals. However, this did not explain other establishment having similar age groups, yet they were peaceful. The drinking patterns of patrons played a crucial role in violence. This was mostly identified when discounts were offered. The cheaper the alcohol was the more people drunk making them more violent. The role of door attendants did not play a vital role in violence. However, edgy bouncers were seen to start violent scenarios and at times fuel them. The social setting also played a pivotal role, where more organized environment produced less violence but dilapidated and poorly managed clubs and pubs saw more violence.
The findings raise the question of what goes on in the mind of the individual when intoxicated. Does the alcohol drive them to more violence of the circumstances of alcohol intake? It also begs the question of what drives bouncers and other security personnel when they initiate and propagate violent situations. Future studies should seek to understand if bouncers are also intoxicated. If they are not, research should determine the psychological and environmental motivations toward their behavior. The finding also brings to our attention the need to explore why an age group considered violent can also be peaceful in dissimilar circumstances.
What has been evidenced in the study’s result is that public drinking in itself is not cause for violence. It is also evident that other factors push the casual drinker to violence. To stop such occurrences, it is essential for the relevant authorities to identify ways in which these situations could be regulated to limit violent occurrences. The theoretical framework had suggested that violence in pubs and clubs are occasioned with high alcohol intake. Another hypothesis was that violence is because of other factors such as the venue, the person involved in drinking, and staff of public premises. The findings have distributed the blame between the two hypotheses. It suggests that alcohol in itself does not motivate a patron to violent behavior. However, the circumstance within which alcohol is ingested creates the possibility for violence.
Homel, R., Tomsen, S., & Thommeny, J. (January 01, 1992). Public Drinking and Violence: Not Just an Alcohol Problem. Journal of Drug Issues, 22, 3, 679.