Drinking terms and concepts: their meaning and use

Thickett, Anthony, Allaste, E. Z., Kasia, K., Moskalewicz, Jacek and Thom, Betsy ORCID logoORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0003-4975-7613 (2013) Drinking terms and concepts: their meaning and use. Drugs: education, prevention and policy, 20 (5) . pp. 375-382. ISSN 0968-7637 [Article] (doi:10.3109/09687637.2013.798263)


This article explores the complex relationships that exist between the consumption of alcohol, the terminology used to describe consumption patterns and their effects, and the various frames of meaning through which these inherently related activities are perceived and understood. A particular focus is on the cultural meaning ascribed to terms and expressions commonly associated with alcohol consumption in different national contexts, something that has implications for an increasingly integrated EU survey approach. Data were collected by way of 12 focus group discussions conducted in four European countries (Estonia, Hungary, Poland and the UK) during the course of the Standardising Measurement of Alcohol Related Troubles (SMART) project. The focus groups produced a rich data set of qualitative material and provided insights into the variable interpretations of many concepts and terms and the difficulty sometimes encountered when seeking ‘equivalent’ translations. Discussion of the main findings to emerge from the research is centred around four main themes: how participants interpret and perceive the concept/activity of ‘drinking’; what/how much is ‘a drink’; the perceived relationship between ‘heavy drinking’ and alcoholism; and how the concept of ‘drunkenness’ is understood. Analysis of the different narratives that emerged from the focus groups points towards significant variation in the usage and meaning associated with these terms within and across the participating countries. Contrasts and commonalities are explored across the data set and the views of participants are considered in relation to the existing literature.

Item Type: Article
Research Areas: A. > School of Health and Education > Mental Health, Social Work and Interprofessional Learning
Item ID: 15385
Useful Links:
Depositing User: Betsy Thom
Date Deposited: 27 Apr 2015 15:12
Last Modified: 26 Jul 2022 16:29
URI: https://eprints.mdx.ac.uk/id/eprint/15385

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