The paper explores the complex role of drinking in Sweet Home Farm (an informal settlement) through an examination of its contextual setting and its spatial characteristics. It examines, through a social-spatial ethnographic method and focus on a series of case studies, how shebeens are positioned in terms of their relationship to urban settlement, their role in providing publicly accessible venues within an over-crowed slum and influence on drinking outcomes. The authors analysis of space focuses on the context of the informal settlement as an (un)regulated space which permits emergent spatial expressions and arrangements. Through a detail examination of four case studies, we consider the intimate configuration and organisation (place) of specific venues. From the perspective of place, the analysis examines the use (and non-use) of equipment/objects and internal architecture to define the character of particular typologies of establishments and their positioning vis a vis market niches. The paper reflects on the role and impact of shebeens on life within Sweet Home Farm, both in terms of providing space for socialisation and in supporting diverse cultures of drinking and business forms.
Charman, A.; Peterson, L.; Govender, T. Shebeens as Spaces and Places of Informality, Enterprise, Drinking and Sociability. South African Geographical Journal (2014) :