Researching Party Zones: Drugs, Alcohol, and the Night

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


The Balearic Island of Ibiza exudes an indelible cultural status as the global epicentre for clubbing and hedonistic excess, with thousands of summer tourists drawn to the beaches and super-club dancefloors of ‘the White Isle’ in a brief hiatus from reality. As such, the island represents a party zone extraordinaire, a magical realm where the line between illegal and legal forms of intoxication has become blurred to the point of collapse. This chapter draws on ethnographic research, carried out over three summers, with British tourists and seasonal workers in the party zones of Ibiza. The chapter has two main aims. Firstly, it provides insight into the methodological processes and challenges of ethnographic research with drug users and drug dealers in nightlife party zones. Secondly, the emotional journey of the ‘Ibiza experience’ is traced through the eyes of participants, and by reflecting on my own time as a researcher immersed in a wild and unpredictable party zone.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationFieldwork Experiences in Criminology and Security
Subtitle of host publicationMethods, Ethics, and Emotions
EditorsAntonio Diaz, Cristina Del Real , Lorena Molnar
Place of PublicationSwitzerland
Publication statusPublished - 2023


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