Sociology teacher and critic Neil Davenport challenges us to stand up for the pub. Today, society tends to view people getting close to one another as a source of multiple risks, he writes, and if pubs are to survive, we need to get up close and personal. From plotting working-class political movements to hosting some of the great artists of our time, pubs are central to a lively, active public square. The future of rowdy locals relies on us, the punters, rediscovering and reshaping the public square as a place of freedom, he writes. We should not be ready to heed last orders so easily.

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Neil Davenport has taught politics and sociology for 20 years. Prior to this, he had a background in music journalism, writing reviews for Metro, Select and Uncut. He now writes about politics and culture for spiked, as well as chapters in A Lecturer’s Guide to Further Education (Open University Press) and The Future of Community (Pluto Press).

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