Home > A Case-study of Alcohol Consumption and of the Irish Public House in late Modernity. Social processes that manifest themselves as cultural, economic and political constraints.

Cunningham, Bridget Mary (2013) A Case-study of Alcohol Consumption and of the Irish Public House in late Modernity. Social processes that manifest themselves as cultural, economic and political constraints. PhD thesis, National University of Ireland, Maynooth.

URL: http://eprints.maynoothuniversity.ie/5391/1/978254...


Social drinking in Ireland is acknowledged as a ‘traditional and a ‘cultural’ pursuit. The social world of the drinker however, is constructed in a complex way that extends beyond the cultural sphere. Movement of people, commodities and ideas (global processes) are central to contemporary life-style choices and leisure activities. The economy at any given time (economic processes) has a direct bearing on sales and purchases of alcohol. Regulation of the drinks industry and of drinking practices (political processes) construct a legal framework within which drinkers and drinks providers are obliged to operate. Owing to the harmful effects of excessive alcohol consumption, social research understandably, focuses on the ‘problematic’ aspects of alcohol misuse, while ‘moderate’ or ‘social’ drinking practices are largely overlooked. A sociological approach that would address this oversight calls for a ‘social process’ methodology that extends beyond the negative elements of alcohol and instead encompasses the broader concept of social drinking. This project investigates the experience of the ‘social’ or ‘moderate’ drinker in Ireland from a cultural ‘life-course’ (Hunt, 2005) perspective that reveals how economic and regulatory processes are negotiated and experienced at the micro-level. Research was conducted during 2000-2005, a time of economic prosperity and optimism. Social conditions that impacted upon lifestyle practices and that transformed the drinking environment (public house) reflect changes in consumerist practices along with a strengthening of regulatory processes. Investigation of the public house as ‘cultural icon’ and as ‘third place’ (Oldenburg, 1999) of informal association reveals the political and economic frameworks within which it operates. This study of the social world of the drinker developed into three distinct themes: the definition of the social drinker, the metamorphosis of the Irish public house and the re-spatialization of social drinking practices.

Item Type:Thesis (PhD)
Date:2013
Pages:350 p.
EndNote:View
Accession Number:HRB (Electronic Only)
Subjects:A Substance use, abuse, and dependence > Prevalence > Substance use behaviour > Alcohol consumption
B Substances > Alcohol
L Social psychology and related concepts > Social context
L Social psychology and related concepts > Physical context or place
MA-ML Social science, culture and community > Sociocultural aspects of substance use > Sociocultural substance use > Social drinking
VA Geographic area > Europe > Ireland

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