1st Edition

Alcohol, Youth and the State Drinking Practices, Controls and Health Education

By Nicholas Dorn Copyright 1983

    In the early 1980s teenage drinking had become one of the many foci for expressions of concern about young peoples’ morals, health and discipline. Yet we knew very little about how most young people drink – the qualitative aspects of youthful drinking. The research emphasis had hitherto been upon the level of drinking, neglecting the social forms, styles and associated meanings of specific drinking practices such as round-buying.

    Originally published in 1983, the core of this book reports upon an ethnographic study of the circumstances, cultures and drinking practices of one particular stratum of youth. The service sector had become an increasingly important area of employment, but little was known about service sector youth cultures. The author shows how mixed-sex round buying arises in such a culture and how it differs from the drinking practices of other groups.

    The study goes on to develop a general model for understanding drinking practices in diverse strata of youth, and draws out implications for health and social education. Drink education is related to the increasingly important, and contentious, area of education about ‘working life’ and to sexual divisions in society. Introducing these sections is a review of the historical origins of concern about public drinking. Originating in yearly Vagrancy Acts and elaborated over 500 years, the state’s policies about production, distribution, and consumption of alcohol are an integral part of its general economic and social policies, and will continue to be framed by them.

    Preface.  Introduction.  Part I: Historical Background to Alcohol-Related Policies  1. Drink and Discipline: A Social Class History of Control of Public Drinking  2. Drink and Political Economy: From Free Trade to Keynesian Alcohol Policies  3. Drink and Health Education  Part II: Youthful Drinking Practices – Theory and Ethnography  4. Drink and Social Research: Review of the Alcohol Problems Literature, and Development of an Alternative Methodology  5. An Area Case Study: Service-Sector, School-Leaving and Round Buying  Part III: Alcohol and Education – Some Implications  6. Educational Implications.  Conclusion.  Annexe: Social Class and Sexual Divisions.  Notes.  Bibliography.  Indexes (Author and Subject).


    Nicholas Dorn