Free Press Journal

Bartenders may have poor family life: study


Washington: Bartenders may not have a typical family life because their profession offers little job security, low wages and few benefits such as health insurance or a retirement plan, scientists say.

Sociologists Emily Starr and Alicia McCraw from the Tulane University in the US interviewed 40 New Orleans area bartenders for the study.

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The study examined the relationship between bartenders and their perceptions of successful adulthood through access to romantic relationships and parenthood.

It found that bartenders perceive their lack of legitimate work to be the main barrier in achieving such normalcy.

“It’s about how bartenders in the New Orleans area feel that their jobs preclude them from achieving the ‘normal’ benchmarks of adult life like long-term intimate relationships and family life,” said Starr, an adjunct professor who herself works as a bartender while completing her doctoral work in sociology at Tulane.

“Because bartenders feel like their jobs are not legitimate, they perceive that the other dimensions of normative adult life are not attainable or even desirable,” said Starr.

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Participants in the study have worked as bartenders since 2013. They range in age from 23 to 48 and represent a variety of establishments from neighbourhood bars and beer gardens to fine dining restaurants and music clubs.

Most were white, with the rest being black, Latino, Asian and bi-racial.

Much of the study dealt with the hardships of working in the bartending field, which offers little job security, low wages, and few, if any, benefits such as health insurance or a retirement plan, researchers said.