Sing-out sisters take over the pubs

March 7, 1997

KARAOKE is changing women's experience of pub culture by breaking down traditional gender roles, according to research. Whereas women once rarely entered pubs alone and usually occupied a secondary role to their male partners when there, karaoke has proved a liberation.

Val Hamer, a part-time lecturer in criminology and sociology at Teesside and Durham universities, has discovered karaoke communities are attracting lone women of all ages, even though the practice began as a hobby for middle-class males. In these communities, it is often the men who are sexually harassed, says Ms Hamer, who has so far carried out interviews and observation in ten pubs in the Stockton area.

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