“I’m strong so I kicked him with my Doc. Martens”: negotiating agency and affect within the context laddish spaces in the night-time economy

Silvia Diaz Fernandez, Adrienne Evans

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaper


Lad culture in British Higher Education is rising in both visibility and controversy. While laddish behaviours have become part of the everyday, sexism has become notorious within the leisure space of the night-time economy. The National Students’ Union, for example, has released two reports (2010; 2013) on ‘Lad Culture’ in Universities, in which both clubs and pubs are described as spaces where the reproduction and celebration of laddism endure. These reports describe club culture among young University students as being saturated with laddish performances that pose a threat to those who do not participate. But while research has also documented the night-time economy as a central site for lad culture (e.g. Fielborn, 2016), less work exists that documents the emotions that are generated in such places.

In this paper, we ask: how does ‘lad culture’ shape student’s affective experiences in the night-time economy? And, how do young male and female students negotiate agency in these specific locations? To address these questions, we draw on data collected with 8 tudents, who were members of a Student Union Gender Society. In our analysis, we show how Ahmed’s concept of ‘sticky affects’ and Anderson’s theorisation on ‘affective atmospheres’ can be applied to the data to understand young students’ relationship to the night-time economy, which helps us bring into focus the constrains that laddism bears on pleasure-seeking activities such as clubbing. We pay particular attention to feelings of concern, fear and anxiety, as well as resistance, empowerment and sexual agency in the experiences of and interaction with the laddish ‘night out’. Our exploration of agency and affect allows us to analyse the intimidation and available in relation to misogynistic practices taking place in the night life, leaving us with productive analytical space to question the associations between spaces and their emotional residue.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 6 Jun 2017
EventLeisure Studies Association Annual Conference - Leeds University, Leeds, United Kingdom
Duration: 6 Jun 20178 Jun 2017


ConferenceLeisure Studies Association Annual Conference
Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom


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