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Bar WarsContesting the Night in Contemporary British Cities$
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Phil Hadfield

Print publication date: 2006

Print ISBN-13: 9780199297856

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2009

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199297856.001.0001

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The Uses of Darkness

The Uses of Darkness

Chapter:
(p.21) 2 The Uses of Darkness
Source:
Bar Wars
Author(s):

Phil Hadfield

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199297856.003.0002

This chapter draws upon the personal experiences of the author and a diverse range of published works on the cultural and natural histories of night-time in Western societies. Night-time is revealed as a social setting of highly ambivalent status, symbolising the times and places of restful recuperation, as well as those of restless hedonism, escape, and ‘dark deeds’. It explores how security concerns, fortification, and policing of the night have accompanied the governance of cities throughout history. Since the onset of industrialized urbanization, the night-time has been progressively colonized by the forces of commerce, and given over to forms of consumption and commodification which often challenge the contradictory will to impose order on the night-time streetscape.

Keywords:   social history of night-time, cultural history of night-time, natural history of night-time, sociology of the night, curfew, gentrification, street crime, histories of policing

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