Binge drinking: a confused concept and its contemporary history

Berridge, Virginia and Herring, Rachel and Thom, Betsy (2009) Binge drinking: a confused concept and its contemporary history. Social history of medicine, 22 (3). pp. 597-607. ISSN 0951-631X

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Official URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/shm/hkp053

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Abstract

Binge drinking is a matter of current social, political and media concern. It has a long-term, but also a recent, history. This paper discusses the contemporary history of the concept of binge drinking. In recent years there have been significant changes in how binge drinking is defined and conceptualised. Going on a ‘binge’ used to mean an extended period (days) of heavy drinking, while now it generally refers to a single drinking session leading to intoxication. We argue that the definitional change is related to the shifts in the focus of alcohol policy and alcohol science, in particular in the last two decades, and also in the role of the dominant interest groups. The paper is a case study in the relationship between science and policy. We explore key themes, raise questions and point to a possible agenda for future research.

Item Type:Article
Research Areas:School of Health and Education > Health & Education
Citations on ISI Web of Science:2
ID Code:3688
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Deposited On:14 Jan 2010 13:49
Last Modified:19 Jul 2014 03:06

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