These integrative qualities, along with its role as a special, liminal environment, contribute to the key function of the drinking-place as a facilitator of social bonding. This function is so clearly evident that even in ambivalent drinking cultures, where research tends to be problem-centred and overwhelmingly concerned with quantitative aspects of consumption, those conducting research on public drinking-places have been obliged to "focus on sociability, rather than the serving of beverage alcohol, as the main social fact to be examined" (Campbell, 1991).


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