Mass media Montreal Stories

Young Adults Search of Identity in Elite and Hip Hop Night Clubs [en]

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Young adults are willing to establish and maintain social networks while finding romantic or sexual relationships in nightclubs and bars

Their expectancies in these public milieu depend on the social groups, music type, money and nightclubs/bars services. Young adults use nightclubs as a transitional phase from youth to an independent adult identity in an urban milieu. I am asking myself, how do bars and nightclubs have such an important impact in the young adults search of identity? Nowadays, young adults drink and socialize in nightclubs and bars as a rite of passage. Drinking is usually viewed as an adulthood activity which brings out different aspects of adult lifestyle. These different aspects depend on  cultures, values, principles and religion.

Elton John

Credits: Elton John 

Vodka is the most hard liquor sold and consumed by young adults in nightclubs

Before the twentieth century, vodka was used when the early inhabitants of the territory had to survive in a cold hostile climate ( Nemtsov, 2005).  Nevertheless, vodka was a masculine expensive activity in the urban milieu. It had been recognized at this time that food and drink played a central role in keeping up spirits in wartime, especially, the spirits of men.

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Credits: Google

The world view of alcohol has changed throughout the years

It now has a completely different perspective in modern societies, specifically in North America. In North American societies, nightclubbing represents how the young adults search for their identity while going to adult social places. There are other rites of passage such as, age of sexual consent, ability to marry, obtaining a driver`s licence, political voting and legal alcohol consumption.


a00Alcohol advertisements

It is mostly based on responsible drinking also emphasize the purity of alcohol.  The advertisements help the young adults be responsible, especially, towards drinking in nightclubs.

Credits : Google

Self branding in nightclubs

It produces cultural value and, potentially, material profit. Doormen simultaneously represent status experts and status judges; play a role in the young adult’s search of identity (Rivera, 2010). Rivera shows the social selection and exclusion of status distinction in interaction at an elite nightclub.


The livelihood of a nightclub depends on successful impression management on the part of its staff

Young adults are willing to prepare themselves based on the nightclub’s criteria for impressing the doormen. In the case of elite nightclubs success depends on the ability of the club and its employees to cultivate an aura of prestige and exclusivity. Because of that ability of the club which makes it part of an elite prestige, it  gives access to rewards such as inclusion in high profile social scenes, romantic and sexual possibilities, and networking opportunities to young adults.

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Credits: Google

This selection is also view for the elite nightclub staff as a money situation

If the doormen let everybody in, the nightclub will start losing the customers that they know will be paying expensive for bottles. They have to keep the same crowd every week ends, the same services, and the same type of music to attract the same type of people. This is more about a status group which plays an important role in the identity of the young adults.

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Credits: Envy website

Regulars have already proven to doormen their competences as customers 

Dress code reflects the regulars underlying willingness to spend and their fit with the up-scale image of the club. It is an esteem competence which will be decided by the doormen. It is proven by the doormen that individuals who display fashionable, expensive, professional clothing and accessories are more likely to spend once inside the club. Obviously, race and ethnicity will play a role in exclusion of individuals.

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Race is seen as a signal of economic potential, willingness to spend and their propensity for trouble

Meanwhile, the hip hop nightclub setting is unique among Blacks, Latinos and other ethnicities which are not accepted in the elite nightclubs (generally speaking). It is similar to other hip hop nightclubs in terms of age and gender composition and percentage of non-Whites. Music plays an important role in those Hip hop nightclubs because it portrays realistic views of life in these type of communities.

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Credits: Google

The prestige chosen by the employees and doormen of the hip hop nightclubs is different than the elite one

Hutchinson states in the hip hop nightclub, women have to date the high level drug dealers to get in easily (1999, p65). Young adults, especially young women raise their status differently in the hip hop generation; they have to base their potential on men whom they want to become their sexual partner or husband (Hutchinson, 1999). Additionally, a potential short term sexual partner is one who is a good dancer, spends money, and may have money. By comparison, to the elite nightclub, it is the same category of expectations but a different type. For instance, the brand of clothes valued will be different; in the elite nightclub, Burberry, Michael Kors, BCBG & Polo by Ralph Lauren will be valued but not Tommy Hilfiger and Rockawear, as in Hip hop nightclubs. Finally, it shows the stereotypes of the importance of social status, economic security, and male –female companionship among ‘young’ adults.