Happy St. Patrick’s Day.
In Ireland, three quarters of all alcohol is consumed in a pub. That’s all alcohol, including any purchased at the grocery store. No wonder the Irish seem to be singing, dancing and laughing so much – it’s not so much the alcohol (the oft-used stereotype) as it is being a very social culture.
According to the paper, A Genuine â€˜Third Place’? Towards an understanding of the pub in contemporary Irish society, here are some reasons why the pub is the center of Irish (and third place) culture:
“Neutral ground: The pub offers a neutral space where people can congregate without the pressure on any individual to act as either â€˜host’ or â€˜guest’.
Leveller: Pubs/third places (unlike many social or sporting clubs) do not set criteria for inclusion
Conversation as the main activity: â€˜The cardinal and sustaining activity’ of the third place.
Accessibility and accommodation: The pub/third place must be numerous, ubiquitous, and easily accessible: ideally on foot.
Regulars: A successful pub/third place, whether hairdresser or pub, is dependent on a cohort of regulars.
Low profile: ‘Typically plain’ and unpretentious. plainness of the place helps to maintain the levelling social effect, and also reflects the â€˜everyday’ nature of the setting.
Playfulness: ‘The pleasure that is to be derived from â€˜mutually withdrawing from the rest of the world and rejecting the usual norms’.
Home away from home: Key aspects of â€˜homeliness’ makes the pub/third place attractive: a physical centre or â€˜root’; a sense of possession as in â€˜my local’; a site of regeneration and restoration; a sense of freedom-to-be, of informality; and finally, a sense of â€˜warmth’.Â Together these serve key psychological needs.”