How can 'binge drinking' be explained and understood? Is alcohol consumption related to the particular cultural characteristics of some European countries? Should heavy drinking cultures be seen as a mainstream youth phenomenon or as marginal - and is this different in different countries? A team of leading researchers addresses these questions and more in their analysis of the alcohol consumption patterns of European young people. Alcohol consumption is an important marker of transition from childhood to early adulthood, yet the timing, intensity and purpose of adolescent drinking varies dramatically between countries. The contributors provide cross-national comparisons to investigate how drinking behaviour varies, examining factors such as gender, societal context and family socio-economic backgrounds. Youth Drinking Cultures offers a comprehensive set of perspectives on adolescent drinking in Europe. In linking issues around social identity and the life-course with a highly topical area of media and policy concern, the book will be of great value to sociology and social policy scholars, especially youth researchers, and also to professionals working with young people.
'This book provides a fascinating and comprehensive account of the epidemiology, psychology and sociology of drinking amongst young Europeans. It conceptualises and explains the complex variations in and dynamics of adolescent drinking patterns and related problems, and is full of intelligent observations that will appeal to researchers, policy makers and practitioners'. David Moore, National Drug Research Institute, Australia 'This book provides a very valuable contribution by offering a variety of approaches and analyses to assess young people’s drinking behaviour. It not only demonstrates how youth drinking differs across countries, gender and social classes, but also enables us to better understand cultures of drinking and intoxication among young people in Europe.' Ingeborg Rossow, Norwegian Institute for Alcohol and Drug Research, Norway 'I recommend this book as an important source of information detailing current efforts to understand youth drinking cultures...Many of the chapters report original analyses of pertinent qualitative and quantitative surveys.' Drug and Alcohol Review '...the book offers a new map of European youth drinking, based on cultures of intoxication and cultures of non-intoxication...A key finding from the book concerns the mainstreaming of intoxication within the leisure patterns of many young people...This book reveals that tension in the contrast between broad-brush national comparisons based on ESPAD and HBSC on the one hand, and discussions of youth drinking cultures framed around the 'lifestylization' of drinking and drunkenness on the other... The findings communicated here set us off in the right direction' Leisure Studies 'The book provides a tightly focused discussion of a major issue of health and social policy concern in contemporary Europe...a timely, balanced and very useful contribution to the academic, public and policy debates on "binge drinking", and I have no doubt that it will be used widely for both teaching