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Defining drinking culture: A critical review of its meaning and connotation in social research on alcohol problems
Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Centre for Social Research on Alcohol and Drugs (SoRAD). La Trobe University, Australia; Melbourne University, Australia.
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Number of Authors: 5
2016 (English)In: Drugs: education prevention and policy, ISSN 0968-7637, E-ISSN 1465-3370, Vol. 23, no 4, 270-282 p.Article, review/survey (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

There has been growing academic interest in drinking cultures as targets of investigation and intervention, driven often by policy discourse about changing the drinking culture. In this article, we conduct a critical review of the alcohol research literature to examine how the concept of drinking culture has been understood and employed, particularly in work that views alcohol through a problem lens. Much of the alcohol research discussion on drinking culture has focussed on national drinking cultures in which the cultural entity of concern is the nation or society as a whole (macro-level). In this respect, there has been a comparative tradition concerned with categorising drinking cultures into typologies (e.g. wet and dry cultures). Although overtly focused on patterns of drinking and problems at the macro-level, this tradition also points to a multifaceted understanding of drinking cultures. Even though norms about drinking are not uniform within and across countries there has been relatively less focus in the alcohol research literature on cultural entities below the level of the culture as a whole (micro-level). We conclude by offering a working definition, which underscores the multidimensional and interactive nature of the drinking culture concept.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2016. Vol. 23, no 4, 270-282 p.
Keyword [en]
Alcohol, culture, drinking culture, public health, review
National Category
Public Health, Global Health, Social Medicine and Epidemiology
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-135123DOI: 10.3109/09687637.2016.1153602ISI: 000383881700002OAI: diva2:1044111
Available from: 2016-11-02 Created: 2016-10-31 Last updated: 2016-11-02Bibliographically approved

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Room, Robin
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