Pub and Drinking culture: Pubs play a unique role in offering a social environment for today’s youngsters. Apart from enjoying a drink with friends, it makes one responsible, which a study says is good to boost health. The research goes on to add that moderate alcohol consumption may improve wellbeing due to the increased social interaction.
While most studies warn of the health risks of alcohol consumption, researchers at the University of Oxford have looked at whether having a drink may play a role in improving social cohesion, given its long association with human social activities.
Campaign forReal Ale (CAMRA)
The data was combined from three separate studies – observing conversational behaviour in pubs, a questionnaire-based study of pub clientele and a national survey by the Campaign forReal Ale (CAMRA).
They found that people who have a ‘local’ that they visit regularly tend to feel more socially engaged and contented, and are more likely to trust other members of their community. They also observed that those without a local pub had significantly smaller social networks and felt less engaged with, and trusting of, their local communities.
Local pubs tended to socialise
The study also showed that those who drank at local pubs tended to
socialise in smaller groups.
In which encouraged whole-group conversation, while those drinking in city-centre bars tended to be in much larger groups, and participated much less in group conversation.
‘This study showed that frequenting a local pub can directly affect peoples’ social network size and how engaged they are with their local community, which in turn can affect how satisfied they feel in life. ” said Robin Dunbar, Professor at University of Oxford.
‘Our social networks provide us with the single most important buffer against mental and physical illness. While pubs traditionally have a role as a place for community socialising alcohol’s role appears to be in triggering the endorphin system, which promotes social bonding,’ said Dunbar.
‘Like other complex bonding systems such as dancing, singing and storytelling. It has often been adopted by large social communities as a ritual associated with bonding.’ he said.
‘Personal wellbeing and happiness have a massive impact not only on individual lives, but on communities as a whole,’ said Colin Valentine, CAMRA’s National Chairman.
‘It will be of no surprise to CAMRA members that pubs play such a pivotal role in a person’s wellbeing, but it is fantastic news to hear that this wisdom has now been confirmed by research,’ Valentine said.