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Stereotypes... yuck! But, the unfortunate reason we have stereotypes is that some people go through life taking actions that resemble a stereotype. For example: geeks sitting in front of computers for hours, athletes being very aggresive people, poor people being thought of as stupid. To make these assumptions is a horrible injustice to, well, everyone - BUT - how many of us have had a great idea and sat down to code the framework? Did you sit there for a while? How many have come out victorious in an incredible challenge of physical control and/or conditioning? Did you go out and get rip roarin' drunk afterwards? How many below poverty level people are not given the chance to explore ideas? Were they given up on because funding wasn't there or their surroundings call for something other than scholastics for survival?
Stereotypes suck. But they occasionally show some truths. They are not, in anyway, ever, a wholly correct reflection.

I work in a small local tavern. It is located in an area of the city (downtown) between the corporate arena, the industrial section, the "bad" areas of town and directly across the river from the "cool" place to live. So, we get a pretty divergent client base. I work the door. I greet people as they come in, try to ward off fights and generally shoot the shit with drunk folks in an effort to retain control of a possible outbreak of alcohol induced rioting. (The funny thing is, I am a 5'11" 150 lbs. 21 year old linux nut. If there was a riot I would get my ass kicked.)
Since my interests mainly involve technical things the conversation with drunken people is kept mostly to chit-chat and pleasantries. I hang back a lot and watch the crowd trying to spot any problems. You can learn a lot from watching a crowd. If there is going to be a fight, scattered people start looking over their shoulders in a concentrated area. You will see quick movements in your peripheral vision which is usually body language involving; enforcement of an opinion, defensive reaction to a statement, or an offensive comment. Then, the crowd gets quiet. This is usually about the time the argument escalates into someone thinking they should resolve it with violence. A perceptive person can look over a crowd, see activity in different areas and know what is going on judging by peoples body language, crowd reation, crowd dispersal and noise level.
I do this for about 7 straight hours. It gets old. But one thing I have gained is a better understanding of people. So, hopefully I have shown that I have some idea of what I am talking about and this is not just some ranting bigoted node. I will also try to keep it light-hearted. If you are offended by anything... grow up. You choose to be the one who can be categorized, classified and noded by some kid by you acting in a stereotypical manner. Anyway, if this had any sort of serious manner I would have approached it differently. Eat poop or enjoy.

This is all assuming that there is an economic, social and enviornmental divergency.

Types of people in a bar:

Drunks - This one isn't hard to spot.
Visitors - These people often look around look for some visual sign that relates to them. They try to blend in to the area but are obviously a bit uncomfortable or unsure of their surroundings. Groups of visitors generally congregate (or just all show up together in one party) to an area either in the center of the crowd attention or off to an edge depending on the general level of outgoing nature. Visitors either drink cheap domestics or try some kind of beer they have never had before on a recommendation from the bartender or as a way to strike up converstation with someone seated at the bar.
Social Vampires - Very often seen with a fruity or very, erm... "tasteful", beer (blue moon, purple haze) these people come to the bar and get themselves into very odd situations then over-react to something and retreat to find a person who they can discuss with the injustice that just went on. Barfly social vampires will often repeat this cycle over and over by creating the same situation with their sympathiser and occaisionally elaborating it into a group discussion on politics. These people should die. But social vampires usually tip well. When having an unsuccessful evening of getting attention they rely on the bartender to listen to their woes. They know this has its price.
Bravados - These people like to congregate with one and other in an area where attention can be randomly drawn towards them from an over-emphasised laugh, playful yell, or mock physical contact. Bravados will "talk shit" up to the point of ensueing violence relatively easily when really drunk. These people suck. They are extremely hard to judge. A visiting bravado usually means a fight, severe misunderstanding that bothers people around them, or a bunch of loud and obnoxious twits trying to look like they are the center of entertainment. Oh no. If you only knew the anarchy*. Bravados like popular (read: shitty domestic) beer like rolling rock, budweiser and natural light.

There are a few reasons I noticed this. One was reading Prometheus Rising by Robert Anton Wilson. It is a pretty insightful work that does discuss social structure and situational analyses in an interesting manner. Another reason is growing up I was not around very many people and have until recently been extremely uncomfortable around groups larger that 5.

Here is a neat exercise:
Next time you go to a place where people let their hair down, scan the crowd.
Take interest on one area.
Determine the overall mood of the area by the peoples body language.
Pick a small group of people.
Watch them (don't stare, it's rude) and try to determine what they are talking about. Sports, comedy, a social issue?
When you think you have an answer, make way through the crowd and briefly but inconspicuously eavesdrop and see if you are right.

Please remember. Privacy is a right. Don't intrude on some guy and his friends personal conversation.

* Graffitti on the bathroom wall where I work.

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