MOST people believe the local pub is far more important to their community than the church, according to a survey published today. Kate Fox, social anthropologist and co-director of the Social Issues Research Centre, was asked to comment on the findings.
She said: "The survey confirms the status of the pub as a central part of British life and culture, a unique institution, vital for sustaining local communities. The bar of the pub is one of the very few public places in England where it is socially acceptable to strike up a conversation with a complete stranger," she said.
"At the bar, the normal unwritten rules of privacy and reserve are suspended - we are granted temporary `remission' from our conventional social inhibitions, and friendly conversation with strangers is regarded as entirely appropriate and normal behaviour." >> continue