Sociologist Lauren Rivera sizes up bouncers on Kellogg Insight:
Through conversations and observations, she found that bouncers ran through a hierarchical list of qualities to determine in seconds who would enhance the image of the club and encourage high spending. Social networks mattered more than social class, or anything else for that matter. Celebrities and other recognised elites slipped through the door. And people related to or befriended by this "in crowd" often made the cut, too. Wealth is considered to be one of the strongest indicators of status, yet bouncers frowned upon bribes even though bribes are obvious displays of money. "New Faces," as the bouncers called unrecognised club-goers, were selected on the basis of gender, dress, race, and nationality. Sometimes the final call boiled down to details as minor as the type of watch that adorned a man's wrist."
It's easy, and almost stereotypical of people to get into the bouncer on a "power trip" beat up, the outcome of Lauren Rivera's research is, sadly, spot on: "They maintain the status quo."