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Opinion

England pub culture differs in many ways from American bars

Emma Wagner

November 8, 2012

England is known for its pub culture, and in a lot of ways that is good. Going to the pub provides a socially healthy experience. There is a significant difference in how time at the pub is perceived between English people and Americans. There is a significant difference in pub culture between England and America.

In English pub culture, going to the pub is a social event whereas in America a person may go to the pub alone. People going to the pub alone shows that American pub culture is not particularly friendly. For English people, it is part of their culture and it is a positive activity, whereas for Americans it is different.

It has been said that English people are more socially healthy as a result of going to the pub, whereas American people might be more isolated and not as healthy possibly because of a lack of social interaction.

Going to a pub might have a negative association with Americans. It might not mean going to the pub with friends, but going alone for a drink.

American people also sit at a bar, but they might come to a bar alone, or with, “Billy, no mates” as it is known in England, and might not know the bartender.

American bars themselves reflect the isolation of Americans when they go out for a drink. Examples of isolation are things such as dim lighting, no carpet or furniture and a bar having just alcoholic beverages and soda, but no food. A dive in America often may not have much light, whereas pubs in England are well-lit. A well-lit pub makes the place feel warmer and welcoming.

Also, in England, a person can go to the pub for dinner. If American pubs were brightly-lit and served better food, they could feel friendly and more like someone’s home. Rugs and chairs in pubs can also make them feel like someone’s home.

Some people in England might routinely go down the pub on a Sunday. It could be thought of as therapeutic. The bartender may be thought of as a counselor in some ways. A person sits at a bar and might know the barman or barmaid so they tell them about what is going on in their life.

England has a social and friendly pub and drinking culture such as going to a well-lit pub with friends and possibly getting to know bartenders.

This can make going to a bar for a drink, a more lively and social experience. Making American bars more like English pubs such as supplying furniture, bright lighting, and food being served can create a social atmosphere. This can help make American pub culture more positive.

Emma Wagner is a UW-River Falls student.

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