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In Urban Nightlife, sociologist Dr. Reuben A. Buford May undertakes a nuanced examination of urban nightlife, drawing on ethnographic data gathered to explore the question of how nighttime revelers negotiate urban public spaces as they go about meeting, socializing and entertaining themselves. 

Dr. May’s work reveals the ongoing social conflict on the streets, in bars and nightclubs, and in the various public spaces. To explore this conflict, Dr. May develops the concept of “integrated segregation” — the idea that diverse groups are physically close to one another yet rarely have meaningful interactions — rather, they are socially bound to those of similar race, class and cultural backgrounds.

May will draw on research from his book and recent research on dress codes in urban nightclubs to provide important insights for nightlife venues and public safety organizations. He will provide key concepts for understanding the interactions among nightlife patrons.

Lessons to be Learned from this Webinar

  • The concept of “social capsules” to understand group interaction

  • An overview of the use of dress codes in urban nightlife and tips for managing the enforcement of dress codes in nightclubs. 

  • How police officers and venue security can reduce racial tensions in nightlife districts

  • The direct influence of local government, police and nightclub management decision-making on interpersonal interaction among groups

About the Webinar Presenter

Reuben A Buford May, PhD
Professor of Sociology, Texas A&M University

Dr. May's research primarily focuses on race and urban sociology. His published works discuss nightlife, entertainment, safety and public space in relation to social ideas like race and culture. May has received recognition for his work by many organizations, including the Sheila Biddle Ford Foundation Fellowship, was honored as a Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Visiting Professor at MIT, and received the Association of Former Students Distinguished Achievement Award in Teaching from Texas A&M.


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RHI is a nonprofit organization founded in 1983 with a mission to assist businesses and communities to plan safe and vibrant places to socialize. RHI's Sociable City events create an organized opportunity to connect and share information with peers and access resources from RHI.  © 2017 Responsible Hospitality Institute