Research Strands

The information below provides further information on the main research areas. This does not provide all the details, but a summary of what we will do.

Stage 1: Analysis of alcohol brand and nightlife venue marketing (2020)

In this part of the research we will try to better understand:

  • How gender, sexuality and ethnicity feature in alcohol brand and nightlife venue marketing. For example, how femininities and masculinities are portrayed.
  • Whether alcohol brand and venue marketing reproduce societal stereotypes (e.g. gender stereotypes).
  • How the nature of alcohol brand marketing has changed over time. For example, whether the depiction of women has become less objectifying.
  • What social causes alcohol brands and venues endorse, and how the language of feminism and equality is used by the alcohol and nightlife industry within their marketing.
  • What role celebrities and ‘influencers’ play in marketing alcohol and venues, and the social causes they endorse.
  • How people interact with this type of marketing on social media, and how gendered and social cause-based marketing is received online.
  • The extent to which alcohol brand and nightlife industry marketing adhere to regulatory codes and guidelines related to equality.

We will do this by analysing how alcohol brands and nightlife venues are marketed on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram, and how people interact and respond to them online.

Stage 2: Group discussions with friendship groups in the Merseyside area (2021)

In this part of the research we will conduct friendship group discussions with people living in the Merseyside area, in order to find more about:

  • How experiences of alcohol and nightlife differ by gender, sexuality, ethnicity and class.
  • How participants perceive alcohol brand and nightlife venue marketing, how it relates to their identities, and how it influences their experiences of alcohol and nightlife spaces.
  • How participants think alcohol brand and venue marketing may reproduce societal stereotypes (e.g. gender stereotypes) and the implications.
  • How participants feel about alcohol brands promoting social causes such as gender equality, LGBTQ+ rights and environmental issues (e.g. do brands have a role to play in positive social change?) and how this influences brand choice and drinking preferences.
  • How nightlife venues can be made safer and more inclusive, and whether changes in marketing are required in order to do so.

Stage 3: Interviews with alcohol brand and nightlife industries (2021-2022)

We think that it is important to undertake research with alcohol brand and nightlife industries, as these groups have an influential role and are often excluded from academic research. In this part of the research we will conduct interviews with those working in these sectors to help us examine:

  • How alcohol brand and venue marketing is developed, and how notions of gender, ethnicity, class and sexuality are understood and used by those developing marketing materials.
  • How the marketing of alcohol brands and venues has changed over time.
  • How marketing is developed around ‘causes’ such as gender equality and LGBTQ+ rights, how causes are chosen and the role of brands in social change.
  • Industry experiences of working within regulatory codes and how this impacts on creativity.
  • How nightlife venues can be made safer and more inclusive, and what changes in marketing are required and supported in order to do so.