The purpose of this study was to explore how the cultural ethos, behavioral norms, activities and individual and group identities, inherent to the electonic dance music and hip hop/rap nightclub scenes in Philadelphia impacted the relationship between alcohol, drugs, and crime, with additional attention to victimization.
The study examined the following questions:
- What are the patterns and meanings of drug and alcohol use among participants in these settings and what consequences arise from them?
- What are the patterns of criminal activity among participants and how are they experienced?
- What are the patterns of victimization among participants and how is it experienced? How does victimization differ from that documented in other settings of criminological interest?
- What is the nature of the relationship between alcohol, drugs, crime, and victimization and how do subcultural phenomena impact it?
- How do extant theories fare in explaining the alcohol, drug, crime, and victimization link among the diverse groups of participants in both nightclub settings?
To explore the relationship between alcohol, drugs, and crime in the electronic dance music and hip hop nightclub scenes of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, researchers utilized a multi-faceted ethnographic approach featuring in-depth interviews with 51 respondents (Dataset 1, Intitial Interview Qualitative Data) and two Web-based follow-up surveys with respondents (Dataset 2, Follow-Up Surveys Quantitative Data). Recruitment of respondents began in April of 2005 and was conducted in two ways. Slightly more than half of the respondents (n = 30) were recruited with the help of staff from two small, independent record stores. The remaining 21 respondents were recruited at electronic dance music or hip hop nightclub events.
At recruitment, initial interviews (Dataset 1) were scheduled at private locations in the Philadelphia metropolitan area. The majority of the interviews were conducted in a private office of the record store where recruitment was initially based. Others took place at quiet spots in restaurants, coffee shops, or common space at universities. Interviews lasted an average of two hours. Respondents were each paid 25 dollars for the interview. Interviews were tape recorded by mutual consent and were then transcribed verbatim. Respondents were also given a pseudo email address (or username) and a passcode which they were instructed to use to communicate with the research staff.
Two months after the date of the initial interview, respondents were sent a generic email prompt using a secure, independent server informing them that it was time to complete the first follow-up survey. Two months after the completion of the first follow-up survey, respondents were sent a second email prompt informing them that it was time to complete the second follow-up survey. The Web-based follow-up surveys (Dataset 2) provided current information on respondent activities. Respondents did not receive any compensation for completing the follow-up surveys.
The data collection also includes a quantitative demographic data file (Dataset 3) coded by researchers from the information collected during the Dataset 1 interviews.
Recruitment for study participants began at two small, independent record stores that were central locations for Philadelphia's electronic dance music and hip hop scenes. Store staff at both stores assisted in recruiting respondents for the study by telling store customers about the study and asking them if they would be willing to participate. Slightly more that half (n = 30) of the respondents were recruited at the record stores. Other respondents were recruited live at electronic dance music and hip hop nightclub events where research staff conducted direct observation or were referred to the research staff by those recruited live. When recruiting "live," research staff engaged potential respondents in a discussion about the project and then invited them to participate. A total of 12 respondents were recruited "live," with the remaining 9 respondents recruited using a snowball sampling technique with those recruited live. Research staff asked the "live" respondent pool to nominate people they knew for the study. Respondents were paid a finder's fee for helping to recruit additional respondents.
All individuals over 18 years of age who attended electronic dance music or hip hop club events in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, between April 2005 and December 2006.
Dataset 1 (Initial Interview Qualitative Data) includes structured and open-ended questions about the respondent's background, living situation and lifestyle, involvement and commitment to the electronic dance music and hip hop scenes, nightclub culture and interaction therein, and experiences with drugs, criminal activity, and victimization. Dataset 2 (Follow-Up Surveys Quantitative Data) includes descriptive information on how many club events were attended, which ones, and the activities (including drug use and crime/victimization experiences) taking place therein. Dataset 3 (Quantitative Demographic Data) includes coded demographic information collected in the Dataset 1 interviews.
The response rate in Dataset 1 (Initial Interview Qualitative Data) for participants recruited at the record stores was 90 percent, while participants recruited "live" at electronic dance music and hip hop nightclub events had a response rate of 20 percent. The response rate for Dataset 2 (Follow-Up Surveys Quantitative Data) was roughly 63 percent for the first 2-month follow-up survey and 56 percent of those who completed the first follow-up survey also completed the second, at the following 2-month interval. The response rates for Dataset 3 (Quantitative Demographic Data) is not applicable.