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  • 1. MacLean, Sarah
    et al.
    Demant, Jakob
    Room, Robin
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Public Health Sciences, Centre for Social Research on Alcohol and Drugs (SoRAD). La Trobe University, Australia.
    Who or what do young adults hold responsible for men's drunken violence?2020In: International journal of drug policy, ISSN 0955-3959, E-ISSN 1873-4758, Vol. 81, article id 102520Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Background: Men are more likely than women to perpetrate serious violence when they have consumed alcohol, but alcohol does not affect all men in the same way. This paper considers young adults' attribution about agency (the capacity to act) in men's drunken violence.

    Methods: Interviews about alcohol use in night-time venues, streets or private parties were conducted with 60 young adults aged 18-24 in Melbourne, Australia, and analysed thematically. Participants included seven men who identified as having initiated violence when drunk.

    Results: Some interviewees stated that men chose to be violent, or that men's violence when they were drunk was purposeful and therefore involved some component of choice. However, much alcohol-related violence enacted by young men was understood (both by men who reported violence and by other young adults) as impelled by forces outside their control. These forces were: diffusely defined effects of drinking alcohol; proclivities of men and masculinity, and the interaction of alcohol and men's bodies to override capacity for judgement and produce an irresistible urge to fight. The latter was at times explained as caused by the mutually reinforcing actions of alcohol and testosterone, providing a particularly persuasive account of men's violence as biologically-determined.

    Conclusion: These categories encapsulate a set of discursive resources that contribute to the rationalisation, naturalisation and production of men's violence. Participants tended to regard alcohol, masculinities and testosterone as inciting violence predictably and consistently, suggesting that men themselves had relatively little agency over its occurrence. In contrast, research evidence indicates that these actors do not cause violence in any uniform way and that their effects are contingent on changing configurations of factors. Highlighting discrepancies between young adults' understandings of responsibility for men's drunken violence, and those expressed in research, presents additional opportunities for intervention.

  • 2. Mugavin, Janette
    et al.
    MacLean, Sarah
    Room, Robin
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Public Health Sciences, Centre for Social Research on Alcohol and Drugs (SoRAD). La Trobe University, Australia.
    Callinan, Sarah
    Subgroups of adults who drink alcohol at low-risk levels: Diverse drinking patterns and demography2020In: Drug and Alcohol Review, ISSN 0959-5236, E-ISSN 1465-3362, Vol. 39, no 7, p. 975-983Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Introduction. A significant minority of Australians drink within the 2009 national guidelines. Despite encouragement of low-risk drinking as opposed to consumption patterns associated with greater harm, little is known about the drinking patterns of this group. This paper identifies subgroups of low-risk drinkers and their distinguishable characteristics. Methods. Data were sourced from the 2016 National Drug Strategy Household Survey, specifically 8492 adults (18+) who consumed 1-730 Australian standard drinks (ASD; 10 g ethanol) in the past year, and never 5+ ASD on a single occasion. Cluster analysis enabled identification of subgroups from drinking variables. Drinking patterns, socio-demographic characteristics, drinking context and alcohol-related perceptions of subgroups were examined. Results. Three subgroups were identified.Special occasion drinkers(64.6%) drank low to moderate amounts very infrequently.Regular moderates(19.6%) andRegular sippers(15.8%) drank 5-6 days a week on average, with the average number of ASD per day 1.2 and 0.5, respectively.Special occasion drinkerstended to be younger than members of more regular drinking subgroups. Perceptions of regular alcohol use also differed betweenSpecial occasion drinkersand members of the other subgroups. Discussion. Alcohol consumption patterns among low-risk drinkers are not homogeneous. Younger drinkers who consume at low-risk levels are more likely to report infrequent consumption than moderate regular consumption. A better understanding of low-risk drinkers may help increase the prominence and acceptability of this type of drinking, challenge the normativity of heavier drinking norms and help target campaigns as new information emerges on health risks associated with low-level drinking.

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