His interest in club life undiminished, sociologist Grazian (Blue Chicago: The Search for Authenticity in Urban Blues Clubs) ventures into after-hours Philadelphia for a dishy yet savvy tell-all that brings the city's network of pubs and hotspots fully to life, complete with a host of partiers eager to share. Populated in large part by a 100,000-plus student population, Grazian strips bare the social life of young Philly to reveal "pre-game" prep rituals (dressing, fraternizing, drinking), on-location angst (to appear cool and worldly) and wary assessment of older patrons among them (dinosaurs in their late twenties and beyond). Grazian also brings to life the "hustle" of the industry in vibrant profiles of nightlife institutions, "including the staging of... interiors, the scripting of interactions with customers, the exploitation of attractive women workers, the engineering of creative publicity and... reality-based marketing schemes," showing how these efforts combine to produce the lucrative, exciting and often risky appeal at the heart of the scene. Taking readers to strip clubs, gay bars, the poshest of the posh and a few dives for good measure, this book is a bit like a month of free nights out: the pleasure of the hustle without any of the hassle.
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“If you want to understand the contemporary city, you have to look beyond the office towers and real estate developments to the city at night. Too long ignored, the city at night is a multi-billion dollar industry, a large-scale mating market, and a way station for our ever-extending adolescence. David Grazian takes us on a backstage tour of the ritualistic games, hustlers and attempted hookups, and enduring stories and myths that define the city at night. This book takes nightlife out of the shadows and shows how it is a core concern for understanding the economy and sociology of the modern city.”
(Richard Florida, author of The Rise of the Creative Class 2007-04-03)
"Reading On the Make is like going out on the town with a most amiable, clever, fluent companion—who seems to know everyone you run into. Grazian introduces you to the myriad people who run the Philadelphia scene, and to the affluent young nighttime scenesters; he chats them up and then subjects their complex games of class, gender, and sexual performance to his smart, edgy analysis. The result is at once sobering and drunken fun."
(Joshua Gamson, author of The Fabulous Sylvester: The Legend, the Music, the Seventies in San Francisco 2007-07-11)
“On the Make is where the action is. The settings are the cool bars and restaurants of the big city where adults pretend they look like kids, kids act out being adults, and masters of entertainment create exclusive scenes available to everyone. Drawing from hundreds of stories and years of fieldwork, David Grazian reveals how scenes are made, how the ‘girl-hunt’ works (not) and why some boys like coconut shampoo. Along the way, Grazian is revealed to be a brilliant ethnographer and an imaginative writer.”
(Peter Bearman, author of Doormen 2007-07-16)
“A dazzling and sometimes disturbing portrait of young adults in the urban glamour zone. No other book reveals as much about sex, drugs and money off campus.”
(Eric Klinenberg Playboy
"Grazian ventures into after-hours Philadelphia for a dishy yet savvy tell-all that brings the city's network of pubs and hotspots fully to life, complete with a host of partiers eager to share. . . . Taking readers to strip clubs, gay bars, the poshest of the posh and a few dives for good measure, this book is a bit like a month of free nights out: the pleasure of the hustle without any of the hassle."
"[A] creepily fascinating study of the industry and rituals of the Philadelphia club scene. . . . [Grazian] has a keen eye for the deceptive interplay between the real and ideal."
(Ryan Bigge Toronto Star
“Grazian offers an unflinching portrait of urban nightlife as a series of hustles. . . . A smart piece of urban sociology as well as a sobering existential comment on the contemporary commodification of the self.”--Choice
“This book is a must-read for anyone interested in the rhythms and beats of nightlife in the metropolis. It is in the best tradition of modernist ethnography and could be used as an exemplar for courses on qualitative methods, urban sociology, social interaction, and consumerist or class culture. Much like the fine-dining experiences Grazian describes, this book should be savored, devoured, and accompanied with a bottle of wine. . . . It is a scrumptious read."
(Patrica A. Adler and Peter Adler American Journal of Sociology
“The data are rich and compelling. As a tour guide, Grazian’s account of Philadelphia’s nightlife is vivid and well organized. . . . On the Make is mot just readable but riveting. It is an exceptional piece of sociology in the finest traditions of qualitative analysis."
(Georgie S. Rigakos Canadian Journal of Sociology