Centre for Research in Communication and Culture


23 November 2016

Serious Leisure, Consumer Protest and the Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA)

Presented By Thomas Thurnell-Read, Loughborough University
  • 1-2 pm (part of the CRCC Seminar Series)
  • Brockington U1.22

About this event

Since its formation in 1971, the Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA) has been a frequent, if at times contentious and often derided, voice in debates relating to British drinking culture, the drinks industry and, by association, contemporary leisure. Throughout its existence, CAMRA has provided a means for participants to voice fears and dissatisfaction with corporate globalisation and to imagine alternative consumption practices informed by ideas of tradition, craft, locality and community. Drawing on Stebbins’ notion of ‘serious leisure’, the presentation will detail how involvement in CAMRA as a consumer movement and social network provides participants with a means for expressing both personal identity and a collective orientation to contemporary developments relating to the commercialisation, rationalisation and regulation of leisure and consumption. Further, it is suggested that important changes in the materials, meanings and competencies of Real Ale consumption mean a more complex ‘intellectualised’ form of beer appreciation has emerged over recent years. Such is used to illustrate how cultural tastes and practices become ‘gentrified’, and it is argued that specific beer consumption practices associated with beer connoisseur have become subjected to upward social mobility in becoming more complex and refined meaning they now function more readily as markers of social status and distinction.

This event is part of the CRCC Seminar Series.