Research on clubbing spans numerous fields and adopts diverse approaches to the populations in question. Yet, a somewhat homogenous narrative has emerged about clubbers and substance use, one that focuses on overconsumption, risky behavior, and considerable consequence. The purpose of our study is to unpack this narrative by exploring how the substance use patterns of clubbing populations differ by individual and scene-level factors. From this, we hope to increase an understanding of how social and cultural factors impact the relationship between clubbers and substance use. We draw on direct observation of 29 club events and interviews with 51 respondents from the hip hop (HH) and electronic dance music (EDM) scenes in Philadelphia to inform our research objective. Analyses revealed two broad criteria on which a substance use-based typology of clubbers can be offered: motivations for clubbing and level and type of scene involvement From these two dimensions, we are able to distinguish among three types of clubbers: drug sub-cultural members, commercial clubbers, and music connoisseurs. Drug sub-cultural members reported early onset of drug use and a greater frequency of current drug use at largely underground EDM club events and outside them as well. Commercial clubbers had benign histories with drugs, but they reported attending mostly commercialized HH events to get drunk and court the opposite sex. Music connoisseurs reported minimal current drug and alcohol use at exclusively underground EDM and HH club events, following from, in some cases, extensive histories with drugs and alcohol. The differences between these three groups' substance use patterns, we contend, can be attributed to the interplay between numerous social and cultural factors not previously considered.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Medicine (miscellaneous)
- Psychiatry and Mental health