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Alcohol and moral regulationPublic attitudes, spirited measures and Victorian hangovers$
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Henry Yeomans

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9781447309932

Published to Policy Press Scholarship Online: January 2015

DOI: 10.1332/policypress/9781447309932.001.0001

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Thinking About Drinking

Thinking About Drinking

Chapter:
(p.1) One Thinking About Drinking
Source:
Alcohol and moral regulation
Author(s):

Henry Yeomans

Publisher:
Policy Press
DOI:10.1332/policypress/9781447309932.003.0001

How do we understand alcohol and how do these understandings shape its regulation? ‘Rational’ explanations of this relationship depict public attitudes and regulation as simple products of a straightforward comprehension of the objective social and individual harms which alcohol is causing. This chapter uses historical and comparative evidence to show that the variability of ‘drink problems’ across cultures and historical periods cannot be explained purely in reference to levels of consumption and harm. Instead, drawing on the concept of moral regulation, it is argued that empirical concentration on the problematisation of alcohol and attempts to regulate drinking will yield more satisfactory explanations.

Keywords:   alcohol, drinking, moral regulation, moral panic, problematisation

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