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Dr Andrew Bengry-Howell “But we’re not like that…” The ‘Know your limits’ campaign and young people’s social identification with intoxication.

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Presentation on theme: "Dr Andrew Bengry-Howell “But we’re not like that…” The ‘Know your limits’ campaign and young people’s social identification with intoxication."— Presentation transcript:

1 Dr Andrew Bengry-Howell “But we’re not like that…” The ‘Know your limits’ campaign and young people’s social identification with intoxication

2 Targeted at binge drinkers Across a range of media – TV, cinema, print, radio, online – supported by PR activity Aims Increase awareness and consideration of the consequences of drinking irresponsibly Increase knowledge and understanding of sensible drinking levels Highlight where to get more help or treatment Safe, sensible, social, p.33. ‘Know Your Limits’ campaign Government strategy to reduce harm caused by alcohol misuse Programme of joint government and industry action Better education & communication

3 Safe = moderate drinking Harm = intoxication Emphasis on the negative/harmful effects of drinking Young people’s social drinking constituted as negative and problematic Notion that alcohol can play an ‘important and positive role’, ‘enhance…special occasions and time spent with friends’ (Safe. Sensible. Social. P. 5) Absent/minimised in official discourses around young people’s drinking Safe vs harmful drinking

4 Do you know your limits? Find out for sure by going on our ‘night out’. Put yourself in a normal Friday night scene and see if you'd make the right decisions to have a great night that ends safely. Virtual night out – generally ends in disaster unless you drink within the government guidelines A NIGHT OUT

5 Virtual drinker Enters bar alone Independent agent Engages with people in bar – chooses between options Group context in which our participants drink is entirely absent Drinking constituted as individual rather than social practice

6 Tales of disaster Resonance with our respondents accounts of a ‘bad night out’ – for most, exceptional rather than common occurence Can you help us? Have you ever had a bad experience as a result of drinking too much? We want to hear from people with interesting stories that highlight the negative consequences of excessive drinking. REAL LIFE STORIES

7 ‘Have a great night, and stay safe’ Positive tips for saying safe Limiting what you drink Resisting the influence of the group – be your own person Set limits – keep track of what you are drinking Plan how you are getting home STAY SAFE

8 Focus on individual drinker Separate/independent from the group Resisting peer pressure Being Safe, Sensible, Sober

9 ‘The campaign played on the vulnerability of binge drinkers and emphasised both the physical and criminal consequences that can arise from irresponsible alcohol consumption.’ ‘The television and cinema advertising contrasted the feeling of drunken invincibility with a ‘hero to zero’ theme and showed the serious physical harm that could occur as a consequence of binge drinking’ Safe, sensible, social, Page 33/34

10 Hero to Zero

11 But that’s not me!

12 OUR PARTICIPANTS Wouldn’t identify with the drinker represented in Know Your Limits/Hero to Zero campaign. Individual drinker who drinks outside of a social context/ acts irresponsibly - constituted as a having a drink problem – someone who is not like them. Identity position recognised, but one that our participants distance themselves from Our participants constitute themselves as social drinkers engaged in a collective practice of having fun and looking after each other, not as solitary drinkers counting units and staying within their limits

13 Social drinking HelenI don’t like drinking on my own…the whole point of going out is to socialise MariaIf you’re waiting for someone for like half an hour on your own (.) I don’t think I’d mind (.) = Laurayeah (.) yeah Maria= but when you’re on your own all night it’s a bit lonely ABHBut you wouldn’t mind sitting in a pub waiting for people on your own? MariaNo (.) I wouldn’t mind sitting for half an hour or whatever (.) and having a drink on my own (.) as long as it wasn’t like (.) for four hours or something… ABHSo (.) what about anybody else (.) how do other people feel about (.) going out on your own? HelenI think the whole point of going out is socialising (.) innit (.) and then the drink is next (.) well (…) Sarayeah HelenIf I did go on my own (.) just to drink on my own (.) that’s a bit (2) [ (.) alcoholicky.

14 ABHIs drinking an important part of your social life? JoeIt’s (…) AlanIt doesn’t have to be but it just is TimSocialising is (1) and drinking comes from socialising ABHSo socialising (.) what do you mean by socialising? Timlike going out with your mates and (right) (.) it’s more fun when you’re out with your mates like in town (.) (right) and if you’re in town you normally have a drink ABHOk (1) So the most important thing is the socialising? TimYeah ABHAnd then the drinking is sort of part of that as well yeah? TimYeah (.) the most important thing is socialising and (1) when you have (1) like a few drinks it does (.) it does like help you to chill out a bit (yeah) but some people can go too far (yeah) and then like (.) it ruins your night if they get really bad and you’ve got to look after them and stuff (ok) (.) but the main thing is just hanging out.

15 Anneif we’re in a big group of us Roseexactly Annewe wouldn’t wouldn’t ever (.) let any anything happen ABHright Rosethat’s why we always go out in such a big group (.) because we always know (.) no that not that we always (inaudible) Kelly that doesn’t drink (.) because there’s always somebody (.) who (.) if (.) coz there’s always (.) we all keep a watchful I on em JoeI think it’s good sometimes to have a mate who goes out (.) who is not affected by alcohol and that (.) coz he’s like a voice of good reason or something (yeah) (.) so say you’re going a bit over the top and he’ll come along and he’s like that and “you’re a bit over the top mate (.) [ calm it down a bit”


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