Publication Date


Document Type


First Advisor

Kidder, Jeffrey L.

Degree Name

M.A. (Master of Arts)

Legacy Department

Department of Sociology


How do bouncers and bartenders utilize interpersonal management scripts to handle routinely encountered trouble customers? My study addresses this question and shows how bar staff remedy trouble behaviors without use of force, as well as demonstrates that bartenders play just as pivotal a role in managing those behaviors as bouncers. The data from in-depth interviewing was analyzed through a framework of trouble sociology and the dramaturgical perspective. Interviews were digitally recorded, transcribed, and coded into thematic categories based on frameworks and emergent themes. From the data, bar staff identified three major types of trouble customers (entitled, inebriated, creepy) and described four major types of scripted responses (hospitality, guilting, authoritative, avoidance) they employ to handle them. The results of my study represent an attempt to merge the literature of trouble with a literature of scripts and explores the contextual use of such scripts by bouncers and bartenders. Additionally, my findings provide greater nuance and detail for a more holistic understanding of the use of interpersonal management processes.


65 pages




Northern Illinois University

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In Copyright

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NIU theses are protected by copyright. They may be viewed from Huskie Commons for any purpose, but reproduction or distribution in any format is prohibited without the written permission of the authors.

Media Type


Included in

Sociology Commons