Club culture, neotribalism and ritualised behaviour

Christina Goulding, Avi Shankar

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

74 Citations (SciVal)


Since its birth on the Spanish island of Ibiza in the early 80s club culture has evolved from a countercultural hedonistic experience (rave) to a global, commodified sector of the tourism and leisure industries. Through a longitudinal, qualitative study of behavior at one of the major UK clubs we examine the nature of clubbing and propose the concept of ritual as an explanatory, framework for understanding this neo-tribal co-created experience. Drawing on a cross disciplinary, literature on ritual theory we suggest that clubbing has a quasi spiritual element to it based on the components of; mythology, formulism, sacredness, communitas and transformation. Further applications to the tourism experience are suggested.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1435-1453
Number of pages19
JournalAnnals of Tourism Research
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2011


  • rave
  • clubbing
  • ritual
  • neo-tribalism
  • grounded theory
  • co-production


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