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Alcohol and Culture Change: Current Challenges and Conundrums Ann M Roche Director, National Centre for Education and Training on Addiction, NCETA Flinders University firstname.lastname@example.org Thinking Drinking 3, Brisbane 5-7 August 2009 What is Culture?
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Ann M RocheDirector,
National Centre for Education and Training on Addiction,
Thinking Drinking 3, Brisbane 5-7 August 2009
Where Does Alcohol Sit?Dominant social relations construct the object and shape the discourse. Hence alcohol has been variously seen as: a necessity of life, a poisonous substance, a hazardous drug, a social lubricant or a key element of the economy (Foucault, 1995).
1830’s issue of free trade
Mid-Victorian era issue of individual morality
+1880’s increasingly a question of social reform
During WWI issue of national efficiency
inter-war years issue of leisure, & town planning
Post WWII re-emerged as a medical issue
Then emerged as a public disorder issue with concern over anti-social behaviour by young people
Defined also as a part of the leisure industry and tourism which frames the issue in terms of leisure and tourism rather than health or public order
Also a central part of global corporatisation and contemporary libertarian world view
(e.g. David Korten ‘When Corporations Rule the World’)
(Baumgartner and Jones, 1993)
Cultural focus :
– examines role of social, economic & political influences
Individual freedom vs controlExcess vs ConstraintEconomic neoliberalism and globalizationPleasure vs pathologyPursuit of happiness vs good in a consumer society
characterised by recreation and indulgence
Consumption of alcohol:
Describes current driving force of behaviour as no longer the desire to:
“…keep up with the Joneses, but the infuriatingly nebulous idea of catching up with supermodels, premier league footballers and top-ten singers.”
Some argue that materialism drives us to consume alcohol (and drugs) because materialism cannot fulfill our search for meaning.
Observer at Good Vibrations Music Festival:
“Entering the grounds of the music festival was like entering another world for the day…there is a sense that social rules and ways of relating to each other were quite different from the outside world, allowing people to engage with each other with a sense of freedom, free from the formality of being among strangers in the “real world”. There was a sense of community… freedom from normal social conventions, like they were all in it together.”
Location of first drink – children who first use alcohol in a home environment and learn about its effects from parents are less likely to misuse alcohol than those who begin drinking outside the home with peers
Delaying time of first drink
Having adults who have good relationships with appropriate levels of control and support
Controlled alcohol use is not predictive of later problems
Religious affiliation, esp attendance at religious services
Informed and supportive parental guidance and delay in age of initiation
Some YP benefit from increased confidence when communicating with the opposite sex
Alcohol can increase YP’s feelings of sociability
Drinking alcohol as a means of celebrating and on special occasions may be positive for YPImpact of Alcohol Consumption on Young People(Newbury-Birch et al., 2009)
(inc. in England’s Alcohol HR Strategy, 2007)
Child Awareness (child protection)
Changing workplace cultures
(Pidd and Roche, 2008)
% of drinkers aged 14 years and over, by employment status
% drinking weekly (or more often) at risky & hi-risk levels
Proportion of workforce drinking weekly at short-term risky & hi-risk levels, by age & gender
% drinking weekly (or more often) at risky & hi-risk levels
2. Social norming
3. Media analysis skill
4. Social skills development
5. Gender issues (incl. sexual ‘assault’)
New Cochrane Collaboration review
Moreira, Smith and Foxcroft. 2009 Cochrane review
New Australian report of
High levels of sexual assault
experienced by young
females – attributed to
coercion and alcohol
Clipsal 500, Feb ‘08
1 in 6 families in 2006 were single-parent families
1 in 17 in 1970’s
International Cricket, Feb ‘08
"Wicked problem" is a phrase used in social planning to describe a problem that is difficult or impossible to solve because of
and changing requirements
that are often difficult to recognize.
Moreover, because of complex interdependencies,
the effort to solve one aspect of a wicked problem
may reveal or create other problems.
Strategies to tackle wicked problemsWicked problems cannot be tackled by the traditional approach in which problems are defined, analysed and solved in sequential steps. The main reason for this is that there is no clear problem definition of wicked problems. Strategies to cope with wicked problems:
These strategies seek to tame wicked problems by vesting the responsibility for solving the problems in the hands of a few people. The reduction in the number of stakeholders reduces problem complexity, as many competing points of view are eliminated at the start. The disadvantage is that authorities and experts charged with solving the problem may not have an appreciation of all the perspectives needed to tackle the problem.
These strategies attempt to solve wicked problems by pitting opposing points of view against each other, requiring parties that hold these views to come up with their preferred solutions. The advantage of this approach is that different solutions can be weighed up against each other and the best one chosen. The disadvantage of is that it creates a confrontational environment in which knowledge sharing is discouraged. Consequently, the parties involved may not have an incentive to come up with their best possible solution.
These strategies aim to engage all stakeholders in order to find the best possible solution for all stakeholders. Typically these approaches involve meetings in which issues and ideas are discusses and a common, agreed approach is formulated. In his 1972 paper, Rittel hints at a collaborative approach; one which attempts, "…to make those people who are being affected into participants of the planning process . They are not merely asked but actively involved in the planning process…" A disadvantage of this approach is that achieving a shared understanding and commitment to solving a wicked problem is a time-consuming process. Research over the last two decades has shown the value of computer assisted argumentation techniques in improving the effectiveness of cross-stakeholder communication. More recently, the technique of dialogue mapping has been used in tackling wicked problems in organizations using a collaborative approach.
Some researchers make a distinction between wicked and super wicked problems. The latter have the following additional characteristics:
The paradigmatic example of a super wicked problem is global climate change or the environment.
The Slow Food movement was founded by Carlo Petrini in Italy as a resistance movement to combat fast food. It claims to preserve the cultural cuisine and the associated food plants and seeds, domestic animals, and farming within an ecoregion. It was the first established part of the broader Slow movement.
Carlo Petrini was born in the commune Bra in the province of Cuneo in Italy.
Slow Food is a non-profit, eco-gastronomic member-supported organization that was founded in 1989, the disappearance of local food traditions and people’s dwindling interest in the food they eat, where it comes from, how it tastes and how our food choices affect the rest of the world.The movement has since expanded globally to over 85,000 members in 132 countries.
- good, clean and fair food
- counteracts fast food and fast life
Change means movement.
Movement means friction.
Only in the frictionless vacuum of a non-existent abstract world can movement or change occur without that abrasive friction of conflict.
“Vision without action, is a day dream.
Action without vision, is a nightmare.”