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Daily Life of a Pub During Lockdown; The Resilience of the Working-Classes by Jenny Thatcher

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In Britain there remains a huge gulf between the leaders of the country and the working-class population. Nowhere has this be made more obvious than in the handing of the Corona virus pandemic with regards to the hospitality industry.

On 20th March 2020 I stood in room above a London pub watching Boris Johnson the prime minster of the UK state live on TV: “We are telling cafes, pubs, bars and restaurants to close tonight… and not to open tomorrow”. It was an announcement that everyone working at the pub had been expecting.

It was a move that was needed to help tackle the spread of the virus, but it left thousands of businesses and 3.2 million people (predominantly working-class) employed in hospitality uncertain what the future for them will hold.

The government has set-up a much-needed furlough scheme, business rates holiday and hardship grants. Unfortunately, these will not go far enough to save many small independent businesses who to date haven’t been told when they will be allowed to reopen and who have been left speculating that this might be as late as December 2020 meaning many will have gone bust and millions will lose their jobs.

This paper will explore a small in-depth participant observation of a traditional London Pub during a global pandemic, a pub case study that I was already 4 months into the process of doing when Corona virus hit the UK. Ethnographic data will be presented from the lead of the closure of pubs and subsequent data during the lockdown in which I lived at the pub attempting to support the owner navigate the various schemes of government assistance.

The paper will offer insight in the daily life of a pub during lockdown, its fight for survival and the impact pub closures have had on furlough bar staff. It will also describe the resilience of the working-classes involved with the pub in the face of adversity.

More here: https://workingclass-academics.co.uk/

Ragged University is in partnership with the Working Class Academics conference sharing its ideals and love of open intellectual spaces

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