Nightlife Studies

Past, Present and Future




This article attempts to present a comprehensive, synthetic and critical epistemological review of the interdisciplinary field of Nightlife Studies from the late 19th century to the present, unveiling a fascinating interplay between an “alternative cultural approach”, a “community approach” and a “geographical turn” that arose in the mid- to late 2000s. In turn, the article sheds light on the strong commitment that many nightologists showed to the future of nightlife during the pandemic, emphasizing how fundamental nightlife is for community-building, multicultural understanding and socio-emotional well-being at individual and collective levels. In its final part, and more than presenting a new research agenda, the article argues for the need to adopt a “militant/activist socio-environmental approach” that allows shedding light on the old and new challenges and opportunities that exist on the road to promoting a greener, more resilient, inclusive and egalitarian nightlife.


Author Biographies

Jordi Nofre, Interdisciplinary Centre of Social Sciences at NOVA University Lisbon

Jordi Nofre is FCT Associate Research Professor in Urban Geography at the Interdisciplinary Centre of Social Sciences, NOVA University Lisbon. His main research focuses on nightlife, tourism, and urban change. He is coordinator of LXNIGHTS Research Group, and co-founder of the International Night Studies Network.

Manuel Garcia-Ruiz, CIES-ISCTE / Instituto Universitário de Lisboa

Manuel Garcia-Ruiz is FCT doctoral research fellow at the Centre for Research and Studies in Sociology from the ISCTE-Lisbon University Institute, and also is Guest Researcher at the Institute of Sociology from the University of Porto. His research has three main topics: (i) Nightlife, festivals, and tourism (ii) city branding, culture-led regeneration strategies, artwashing and commodification of the arts and, (iii) artistification, culture and artistic careers of emergent professionals. He is co-founder and coordinator of the International Night Studies Network, Coordinator of the Rede de Etnografia Urbana (Etno.Urb), and the Director of the Urban Audiovisual Festival.