Power Game in the Pub: The Power Negotiations of Pub-hostesses and their Implications

Catherine L Y Leung, Anthony Woon Kei Pang, Max Wai Chee Mak, Alex Lei Kei Fung

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlepeer-review


Pub-hostesses are women who work in pubs whose job is to play drinking games such as ''guessing the dice number'' and ''guessing the number of fingers'' with customers to increase the amount of alcohol sold. Research was conducted by the Hong Kong Baptist University and the Tung Wah Group of Hospitals during summer 2005 to explore the power negotiations between pub-hostesses and society, their employers, and customers. Thirty pub-hostesses were interviewed and 25 pubs observed. Foucault's theory of power relations is used to explain the dynamics observed among the parties. The findings indicate that pub-hostess can only exercise weak resistance to the limitations imposed on them by the various parties, and that to improve their situation, changes at the structural, work, and individual levels are necessary.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)81-94
Number of pages14
JournalHong Kong Journal of Social Work
Issue number1-2
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2007


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