The Resistance Factors Of Pubs Visitation Cultural Studies Essay

Published: Last Edited:

This essay has been submitted by a student. This is not an example of the work written by our professional essay writers.

In the East and Southeast Asia, alcohol is one of the most preferred beverages. (Tan et al. 2009, p.149). According to WHO (2007), there is a steady increase in alcoholic beverages' sales in 2000. In addition, Malaysia government invested US $315 million into total assets of this industry. Despite the number of the of the nightclub's economy is not doing well due to the ban of smoking and recession in UK, students are still the dominant crowd in the nightclubs (Mintel 2010). This shows that Malaysia is not affected by the downturn of other countries. Also mentioned by Skinner et al. (2005 p. 121) that the late-night economy is very competitive in the city area as they are many night venues sharing the market. Even with the growth of nightlife activity, choices of nightlife activities in Malaysia's were remained unexplored.

The late-night economy mostly targeted to the age group of student age from 18-25 (Skinner et al. 2005). Leszczynski, (2006) cited in Kubacki et al. (2007) agreed and stated that with the influence by the west in the 90s, younger generation began to spend more time in nightclubs and pubs with the largest club that attracts up to 7000 customers in a night. In recent years, the tourism Malaysia is targeting more on education and sports tourisms (Tourism Malaysia). The motive behind the government is of course to boost the tourism sector. Moreover, with the help of these extra tourism activities, it will help to boost other sector such as nightlife activity (Heslop et al. 2010; Titan et al. 2010). In addition, Kuala Lumpur's nightlife is pack with foreigners that are mostly tourists (Ahmad 2006). Especially in the golden triangle of Kuala Lumpur where the hottest and famous nightclubs and pubs are located (Kuala Lumpur Nightlife)

Nevertheless, in Malaysia, the main consumers of alcohol are mainly the Chinese, Indians and other ethnic groups because Malaysia is an Islamic Country (Tan et al. 2009). Despite knowing that alcohol in highly consumed in Malaysia, there is a largely unexplored section on where the alcohol is being consumed. On the other hand, Mohamed (2005) explore on the tourists' activities and he found out that 7% of tourists visit Malaysia's night spot. However that was back in 2005 and with the fast growing of tourists visit, the night spot industry should be better than it was in 2005 (Tourism Malaysia).

Different people have different image about pub as it is difficult to conclude that all the pubs are the same and it also reflects on different social class in different places (Report of the Departmental Committee on Liquor Licensing 1972). Moreover Clarke et al. (1998) argues that social forces have served to mould and form current perceptions of public house and inns. The further evolution of pubs was influence by new managerial style in operating as time changed little by little from older days to now because traditionally pubs are owned by breweries but now more are owned by non-breweries (Clarke et al. 1998; Pratten & Lovatt 2002; Towers & Pratten 2003). Most researches that were done were mainly focused on countries such as England and American as they are developed country. Malaysia as a developing country was not given much attention but with the bloom in hospitality and tourism activities (Economy Watch), more research should be conducted to find out the behaviour of consumer in Malaysia, especially the younger generation.

The growing of Kuala Lumpur into a metropolitan city had taken place in the past few years (Bunnell et al. 2003). With more and more pubs and nightclubs open in Kuala Lumpur, the competition of nightlife is getting stronger and tougher. With places such as Jalan Changkat Bukit Bintang, Jalan P. Ramlee, The Heritage Role, Solaris and more growing to meet compete to earn the market share. In addition of the strong purchasing power of Generation Y, due to the double income from both parents and the early generation Y already started working, they have more money to spend on nightlife (Solomon 2010). Despite the growing in demand, there is a lack of understanding why these younger consumers choose their night spots and how they perceive the nightlife out there with their actual experience. An article from a local newspaper, The Star, introduced a number of great night life spots for the clubbers and pub goers. Reported were the few famous clubs such as Zouk, Velvet, Phuture and so on that is top with great DJs and promotion strategies. In the same article, there are some famous local pubs and bars such as Sky Bar, Luna Bar and so on (TheStar 2009).

The study that was conducted by Skinner et al. (2005) and Kubacki et al. (2007) was mainly focused on the nightlife goers' preferences in current and future market. Their study mentions about the elements that the pub and nightclubs goers look for. They do not pay contemplate to the motivation factors of the current market towards these venues as consumer's perception effects the decision making of a consumer (Schiffman et al. 2010; Cronin Jr et al. 2000; Uusitalo 1978). Therefore the purpose of this study is aimed to find out the why pubs are not receiving the same attention as the nightclubs do. As mentioned that consumer's motivation plays an important role in decision making process of a consumer, by knowing are the resistance factors of pub visitation, managers can change the resistance factors into their advantages by doing SWOT analysis.

Schiffman et al. 2010 highlighted that we have to understand the consumer's motivation in order to create new promotion plans. Hence manager from pubs and nightclubs will benefit in terms of knowing the factors affecting the decision making of the consumer. Besides that, manager will be able to come out with new marketing activity with the help of knowing the consumer's perception. In addition this research aims at younger generation, the generation Y, because of their purchasing power in the current market is relatively high (Solomon 2010; Stanat 2006; Farris et al. 2002).

Generally this study aims to find out the reason behind why pubs are not being visited frequently and what stops these youngsters to resist pub. In addition, this research will review the reasons behind those factors. Therefore the question here is 'what are the factors that effects pub visitation among the youngsters?'. This dissertation is divided into five parts. The first part of the dissertation is literature review where the background of the topic is being studied. This includes, some history of both pub and nightclub; and some sub factors relating to both venues. The second part is the methodology paper and laddering technique is being use to discover more in-depth about the factors. Then in the third part, mean-end chain analysis will be use to analyze the interviews. After that, discussion about the finding and will be compare with the framework.

Literature Review

Bar is "a place where especially alcoholic drinks are sold and drunk, or the area in such a place where the person serving the drinks stands". (Cambridge Dictionary Online) Therefore, bar exists in both pub and nightclub. Many people tends to mix up the idea of pub, bar and nightclub because their intention are the same. However, a bar exists in both pub and nightclub where it is where alcoholic drinks are served.

In this section, attributes of both pubs and nightclubs will be discuss and research. This is mainly because pubs and nightclubs share a lot of characteristics and elements. The main thing is bar

The Public House/Pub

History of Public House/Pub and British-Theme Pub

Pub or public house can be trace back during the colonization of Roman of Britain though most people recognize it since the Bronze Age. Back then tavern was introduce by roman and even after Roman left Britain, the tavern was remained. Till the middle age, pub has then enjoyed selling beer instead of wine. Since then, every town in Britain has a small local pub. Besides that, pub was a combined site of production of physical product and consumption of this product such as ale (British Beer and Pub Association,). However, only a few of the much business-minded producer open up their place to the public, unlike now, the production and the consumption are separated. Therefore, pub became a gathering place (Clarke et al., 1998; Whipple & Anderson, 1985). This is the reason why beer has always been associated with pubs.

By fourteenth century, these taverns had transformed into inns and hostelries in order to offer resting and refreshment to travelers. Later on in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, these premises base their business on selling beer and ale until Gin came into the picture in the eighteenth century. Stated by Petrakas (2010), "By the mid-18th century larger alehouses were common and drinking establishments gradually became 'public houses', where the term 'pub' derives from". Also during time, entertainment and charging of entrance fees came into the picture as middleclass pubs started to provide entertainment such as singing, gaming and sports. As mentioned by Pratten 2006, public house was design with wooden blocked floor, fireplace, mantelpiece and with addition of piano for entertainment.

Then in the nineteenth century, during World War I, the British government set the time for selling alcohol until 9.30pm. During this period of time, paler bitter beer were most prefer by the drinker (Pratten 2006). Till in 2003 where British government modified the act and place the authority to the local councils to decide on the time of selling alcohol. By this time, pubs had started to distance from most of the entertainments. Furthermore, the 'old-school' image is still being associated with pubs due to the heritage design (Petrakas, 2010 ; British Beer and Pub Association). However Skinner et al. (2005), found that traditional city centre pub is more preferred by their respondents.

Theme Pubs

Scottish-Theme Pub

Back in the later days, Scottish pubs had provided shelter, ale, venue for social gathering and playing cards. In the eighteenth century, Scottish pubs were given 'Palace Pubs' to show the luxurious surrounding. Scottish bar was not overpowered by ale only but also with the famous Scotch whiskey that were produce only in Scotland only. Therefore Scottish pubs are more link towards whiskey especially their country-produced ones (Scottish Beer and Pub Association). However, Kloep et al. (2001) argues that in Scotland most of the adults gathering place then the younger ones.

Irish-Theme Pub

Irish-theme pub comes in five different type of styles, victorian, shop, country, celtic and brewer; and each style have it's own uniqueness that scream Irish pub (Irish Pub Company). Despite all the different styles, but the general idea of an Irish-theme pub is the warmth feeling with rustic decoration, stone floor and so on (The Irish Pub Concept). The basic idea of an Irish-theme pub was portrait to have a certain aged interior decoration with the combination of antique artifacts. One of the respondents in O'Mahony et al. (2008) mentioned that Irish-theme pubs are made to look old in order to craft the authentic Irish-environment. Moreover, their respondents believed that Irish-themed pubs are supposes to share and show the culture of Ireland.

O'Mahony et al. (2008) explained that Irish-theme creates a cheering and friendly atmosphere. The staffs are more friendly and out-spoken compared to nightclub. This positive atmosphere encourages frequent visits from pub goers. This is supported by The Irish Pub Concept, that one of the critical success factor of an Irish-theme pub is the Irish staff and the positive environment. These staffs possess friendly attitude and humor. In addition all staffs were required to learn their customer's name by heart.

Music selection of an Irish-theme Pub is important (The Irish Pub Concept) and it is supported by O'Mahony et al. (2008) that authentic and contemporary Irish music are expected to be played in order to bring out the cultural atmosphere. Therefore O'Mahony et al. (2008) concluded that the setting of an Irish-theme pub affects the decision of pub goers.

In short, history plays a heavy role in determining the concept, idea and atmosphere of a pub. As time goes by, pubs will either maintain their archaic concept or to move on into the modern era as modern pub emerge from their shadow. Also setting a theme for a pub is to create the authentic setting more than a romantic environment for the theme-pub goers (O'Mahony et al. 2008). Furthermore, Evans et al. (2009) highlighted that colours play a significant role in affecting how a consumer looks at a product. For example brown represent seriousness, warmth, earthiness and more; where else black represent sophistication, glamour and others (Colour Effect).

In Kuala Lumpur, there are many traditional and themed pubs. One of the famous pubs in the town, Sid's Pub - a British-themed pub that currently have 3 chains in Kuala Lumpur, receive many compliments for its authentic atmosphere with the companion of local British dishes. Besides Sid's, Kuala Lumpur do have typical Irish-themed pub as well. One of Kuala Lumpur top rated Irish pub, Finnegan's, managed to capture the heart of many customers due to it's design. Lastly the closest to a Scottish-themed pub in Kuala Lumpur would be The Whisky Bar as they have the widest range of Scotch whisky in the town. The Whisky Bar is promoted by an international website named as they only pick the best bars from all over the world.

Modern Pubs

Gorman (2003) discussed that modern design is all about expressing the soul of our time; benefit the contemporary advances in fine arts and pure sciences; taking advantage of new technology; development between shapes, textures and colour; expressing the purpose of an object; fully express the beauty and qualities of an product; and simple, structured and avoids unnecessary enrichment. It is then being used in the modern pubs a venue that express the life style. This is supported by Chatterton et al. (p.64) stating that "visiting pubs and clubs is a core element of young people's lifestyles". Furthermore, unique and creative are the elements that younger generation search for (Knight & Kim 2005)

Gorman (2003) stated that modern design also mentioned that modern design is a to suits our own special needs, therefore Chatterson et al. agreed by stating about the merging of bar and café venues to become more stylish and for multipurpose cultural activities. Furthermore they did highlight about the transformation of pub-experience as pubs are no longer overpowered by male clientele as pubs are now evolved into cafe-bar with addition of food service and modern design. Hence, pubs became female friendly.

Modern design of pub has lead to a change of trend for the night life as Chatterson et al. (p.69) mentioned "...sit beside the new trendy bar where young professionals are drinking the latest cocktail". In Kuala Lumpur there are many modern and trendy pubs, and the famous Sky Bar in Traders Hotel in one of them, which often have casual and relaxed atmosphere.

As time goes by, pubs had goes under more changes as demand in the market changes. This result in changes of the theme pubs and modern pubs that changes type of service and facilities they offered. They do not just offer style but also food and other entertainment and thus, more pubs became more family oriented. Beside food, some pubs offer television for watching of sport games (Pratten 2003).

Drinking Culture

"The main purpose of a pub was for men to meet, talk and drink beer" (Pratten and Lovatt 2007, p. 91). Moreover Tan et al. 2009 found that the men are the main consumer of alcohol. As pubs had always been a social centre for the community and has a complicated social history throughout its [pub] development (Clarke et al. 1998; Pratten 2007). It was agreed by Valentine et al. (2008) stated that the pub has traditionally played an important role in village communities as a social space, especially for men. Also, Leyshon (2008) concluded that young people in countryside goes to pubs to feel the sense of belonging as they want to be feel as part of the community. It has been found that Malaysians' men are the main consumer of alcohol (Tan et al. 2009). Furthermore, in countryside, people gather in pubs to discuss or share their daily routine with the people in the pub. In countryside, most of the topic revolve around farming, hunting, rural politics and local issues. Pubs at countryside had become a central of learning local knowledge and history (Leyshon 2008).

Drinking beer in a pub gives an image of masculinity and it is important for young people to consume beer in pubs to identify themselves as man (Leyshon 2008) and a transition of turning into their adulthood as they tend to visit pubs (Kloep et al. 2001; Valentine et al. 2008). In Valentine et al. (2008) research found that 55.2% of their respondents visit pubs/bars to consume alcohol. More specifically, they indentified the reason behind the visits of pubs and clubs in rural area is because the lack of facilities such as cinema, bowling alleys and late-shopping areas in urban area.

Young women are not being exposed to the culture of drinking in pubs as much as the young men as these young men we brought to pubs by their father (Leyshon 2008; Valentine et al. 2008). This explains the dominant crowd of pubs. After these young men and women are exposed to the drinking culture they will start to share their thoughts on taste and palate to mark the differences between them and the younger drinkers (Valentine et al. 2008).

In Pratten 2010 research, he mentioned that more and more British people are consuming wine than before. Pubs became Britons most visited for alcohol, but wine tends to attracts more women than men as Pratten 2010 found that women would want to try different variety of wines but not men. Hence wine became more famous in pubs because of the women.

Type of Clientele

Men, of course, are the main clientele of pubs. Furthermore women are the motivation factor of visitation to bars of men as one of Skinner et al.'s (2005) respondent mentioned "the classier the place, the classier the female population". Therefore, men clienteles expect different type of women visit different type of bars (note that bar exists in both pubs and nightclubs).

On the other hand, women do visit pubs but they prefer to go to pubs with their friends as they feel more comfortable. One of the respondents, in Leyshon (2008) study, defined comfortable as in not being the only young soul there, as normally pubs were filled with older people. She mentioned that she does not want to be approach by the older people, which is why she rather visits a pub with her friends.

Holland et al. mentioned that "...the emergence of new audiences seeking a more relaxed and quieter atmosphere in bars rather than clubs". This shows that pubs are getting more attention as these audiences move from nightclubs to bars. Nevertheless, pubs are changing their style due to the changed in patrons of pubs. In addition, men are no longer the dominant of pubs and more women are enjoying going to pubs as well (Pratten 2007)

Language in Pubs

Young people that visit pubs use a certain manly language to prove that they can be strong, tough, sexually active as well as drunk. It was in countryside, drinking represent a sign of masculinity as they use brutish language to represent they style. In addition, in countryside, if a guy do no drink in the pub is consider as feminine as they uses strong words such as 'gay', 'sissy' and 'no balls' to represent these non-drinkers (Leyshon 2008).


Facilities that are provided in pubs are such as pool table and game machines (Valentine et al. 2008; Clarke et al. 1998). Female pub goers focus on the physical setting and the atmosphere more than the male pub goers (O'Mahony et al. 2008). Furthermore, the setting of pubs plays an important role because it sets the impression of the pub to the customer and the performance of the staffs that came to contact with the customer. In addition, the performance of the staff will affect the experience of the customer (Pratten 2004a).

The Nightclubs

Discotheque to Clubbing-Culture

Flickering of multicolour light from a disco ball has always been a symbol the 'funky' culture back in the 70s. It was the African and Hispanic Americans' communities started with the genre of music named "Disco", combination of rock, soul, blues and funk; that started the trend of disco dancing. Throughout the 70s, disco was the most popular music genre and many artists released their disco album with all sorts of funky dance moves. All these dance moves were hot in the discotheque. For different songs, there will be a signature move or dance steps, mostly combined salsa and mambo. Since then dancing has became the main event in a discotheque (Borade n.d; Braunstein 1999).

Then later in the 80s, disco music got crashed due to "gay cancer" which is AIDS now. Gays were the dominant group during the disco-era and during that time, people believe that the gay spread the cancer and hence people stop visiting discotheque. However, when Michael Jackson and Madonna popped into the music industry, and begin the new genre of music, pop. Since then, the word 'disco' was banished and replaced with nightclub (Braunstein 1999). Hollands et al. mentioned "the club scene has now diversified, grown and fractured along the lines of a number of smaller consumer groups and musical styles which represent a growing sophistication and exactitude amongst clubbers who demand more customer service, better venues and more sophisticated sound/light equipment"

Setting of Nightclubs

There are normally many pushing and shoving in the nightclubs during peak hours as the crowd is normally huge. In addition to that, most of the time these clubbers will have to queue up to an hour before being able to enter the venue (Skinner et al. 2005). This shows that nightclubs are normally congest with people and with a natural idea of large crowd.

Dance Floor

In Skinner et al. (2005) and Kubacki et al. (2007) interview, they found out that most nightclubs have their dance floor either in the middle of the venue or near the bar area. It set as an idea of the location of a dance floor normally would be located in a nightclub.


According to Skinner et al. (2005) and Kubacki et al. (2007), their respondents perceive that nightclubs do not have comfortable chairs and limited space to sit as only a few bar stools were provided in the venue. This tells that it is expected for the clubbers to be standing rather than sitting.


In Kubacki et al. (2007) research, security guards in a nightclub are expected to wear formal suit for better image of security's level. Besides that, bouncer in nightclubs are stereotyped with a strong image of huge body size, strong, skin-head and not friendly. The clubbers will expect a bouncer to be standing outside the venue to take care of the security and perceive that this bouncer have to behave and look at a certain way.


Kubacki (2007) mentioned that music is part of the important factors that effects whether or not the customers want to visit the particular pub, nightclub or restaurant. In addition, Mintel 2010 found that live bands and comedy were rated as the most likely to encourage people to go to nightclubs. This is also supported by Kubacki et al. (2007 p. 967) that "live music is the most important".

Other setting

The type of service that perceived to be offered in nightclubs is such as music, DJs, dance floor, alcohol and promotions on drinks (Skinner et al. 2005; Kubacki et al. 2007).

Promotion of Nightclubs

In order to gain market share and win their competitors, nightclubs will use pricing and promotion strategy on either drinks or entry fees and mostly to target students with lower prices (Skinner et al. 2005). This is supported by Moschi & Moore (1979) that younger generation perceives price is important when it comes to making decision.

The most popular drink in the nightclubs is vodka and follows by lager (Mintel 2010).

Disc Jockey (DJ)

In Malaysia, the popularity of a nightclub is much dependent on how happening it is. Furthermore, a happening club is determined by who is the DJ of the day. DJ had turned into a soul of a club because of the music that is part of a setting of a club. A DJ has an important job that is to make the club interesting with his or her skill. Many nightclubs in Malaysia have to hire different DJs in order to promote themselves better. In addition, different nightclubs will have different DJ as each DJs have their own unique talent in different genre of music (The Star 2009).

Moral Value of Nightclubs

Freeman (2002) cited in Skinner et al. (2005) mentioned that "clubs don't enjoy a high moral ground stance in the eyes of the public, so there is little sympathy over public order issues". Most of the clubbers visit pub with an intention of getting laid, having good time and/or meeting new partners (Holland et al.).


Kloep et al. (2001) found that most youngster like to drink with their friends either at their friends' homes, streets, woods, pubs, nightclubs and discos. Moreover, the types of people that visit clubs affect the decision making of the young clubbers (Kubacki et al. 2007).

In short, pubs and nightclubs both went under evolution throughout the years. With the historical background that defines what we have today, pubs and nightclubs are in a different position. Pubs had came a long way since the bronze age till now. With the influence of social force, changes in management and clienteles; pubs are now not for men only and more visitation from younger customers. On the other hand, although disco era was over due to the linkage of homosexual and AIDS, nightclubs burst into the market with the help of few elements such as pop music and DJs. Nightclubs became one of the main activity for the younger generation.

Pub resistances towards youngster


Consumer's perception plays an important role in a consumer's mind because they act and react towards their perception and not base on the reality. Which means would react to what they want to believe to be truth but not on what is truth. Consumers' buying habit is base on this theory as they think of what it is. Nevertheless, their perception is base on what benefit them most no matter in products or services (Schiffman et al. 2010; Uusitalo 1978). Perception is defined by Schiffman et al. 2010 as "the process by which an individual selects, organizes and interprets stimuli into meaningful and coherent picture of the world". Stimuli such as atmosphere, aroma, music and taste; trigger the senses in our body and react to them and finally form a picture of how we perceive the product and/or service to be (Evans et al. 2009).

Although different people will be exposed to different stimulus, people will only want to see whatever they expect to see and this is based on previous experience that they had, familiarity or preset of expectations. Moreover, when it comes to marketing, people will have their own expectation to what they want to perceive the products or services to be. However, base on different motives, when it the feeling of need is strong consumer tends to ignores the stimulus around them. In addition, a person's perception will be varies according to situation depending on the elements in the surrounding (Schiffman et al. 2010; Evans et al. 2009; Uusitalo 1978; Perner). Furthermore, Knight & Kim (2005) found that perceived quality reduce purchase intention while emotional value increase purchase intention.

In perceptual organization, people tends group images together to form an image that the perceived a product or service or be. However if the images are not complete, they will complete it with what they perceive the images should be and this is call as closure. From how an individual choose to perceive a certain product or service, they then will organize it the way they want it to be. This same goes to how an individual interpret their perceptions. In many ways, most people likes to stereotype and this is through the physical appearance, descriptive terms, first impression and halo effect (Schiffman et al. 2010). This is supported by Uusitalo (1978), where she found that the consumer looks at information that fulfill their cognitive, affective and intergrative needs; and then he or she will respond by making their own perception.