Pubs – an academic’s viewpoint

Thursday 22nd October 2015 “Seminar & Beer Festival”:  4:30-5:30pm Lecture Theatre 9 in Hicks Building.University of Sheffield, Hounsfield Road, S3 7RH    Ignazio Cabras (University of Northumbria) will present his work on “A pint of happiness: how pubs shape and foster community cohesion in rural England“.  Following the seminar, we will walk down to the “Sheffield 41st Beer & Cider Festival 2015“ for an evening at Kelham Island Museum. Pubs in England represent an important locus for regional development and rejuvenation, particularly in rural areas where they act as hubs for social aggregation and economic activity. Generally, village pubs are regarded as complementarities to other local services and amenities that exist within the area, such as sporting events, volunteering and charity initiatives, as well as business activities. The evidence presented in this seminar provides empirical support for this proposition by estimating the impact of pubs on social and communal activities at a local level. More specifically, data and information about facilities and services available for rural parishes are used to elaborate a set of index measurements of community cohesion. The indexes, created upon a range of discrete variables capturing multiple aspects of community living, are then investigated by using different econometric and statistical techniques to measure the role of pubs in shaping the levels of community cohesion in the English countryside. Findings gathered from the analysis identify a strong positive relationship between the presence of pubs and higher levels of community cohesion index occurring within the examined parishes, indicating that this relationship is maintained in time. Results are discussed in the light of the significant decline in the number of pubs occurred in England and the UK in the last three decades, and explored with regard to possible policies and initiatives which could help preserving the positive impact these business have on rural communities.  

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