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Habitus of home and traditional drinking: a qualitative analysis of reported middle-class alcohol use

Brierley-Jones, Lyn, Ling, Jonathan, McCabe, Karen, Wilson, G.B., Kaner, E.F., Haighton, C.A. and Crosland, Ann (2014) Habitus of home and traditional drinking: a qualitative analysis of reported middle-class alcohol use. Sociology of Health and Illness, 36 (7). pp. 1054-1076. ISSN 1467-9566

Item Type: Article

Abstract

There is evidence that alcohol consumption among those in middle‐class occupations consistently exceeds safe levels, yet there has been little research into why this occurs. This article explores the meanings associated with alcohol use among professional, managerial and clerical workers. Qualitative data were collected from five focus groups of male and female employees aged 21–55 (N =49: 32 male, 17 female). Each focus group was conducted on the premises of a medium‐scale or large‐scale employer, four public sector and one private sector, in the north‐east of England. Using Bourdieu's concepts of ‘habitus’, ‘capitals’ and ‘fields’ we found that, among these middle‐class occupational groups, alcohol use was associated with two habitus: a ‘home drinking’ habitus and a ‘traditional drinking’ habitus. Those of the home drinking habitus particularly used wine as a source of cultural capital and a means of distinction, whereas those in the traditional habitus consumed lager, beer and spirits to have fun in social settings. A small minority appeared to belong to a third, omnivorous, habitus where a wide range of alcoholic drinks were consumed in a variety of contexts. Existing public health initiatives to reduce alcohol consumption may require modification to accommodate a range of drinking cultures.

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Depositing User: Hannah Dodd

Identifiers

Item ID: 4941
Identification Number: https://doi.org/10.1111/1467-9566.12145
ISSN: 1467-9566
URI: http://sure.sunderland.ac.uk/id/eprint/4941
Official URL: https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1111/1...

Users with ORCIDS

ORCID for Jonathan Ling: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0003-2932-4474

Catalogue record

Date Deposited: 02 Jun 2014 08:53
Last Modified: 04 Feb 2021 19:15

Contributors

Author: Jonathan Ling ORCID iD
Author: Lyn Brierley-Jones
Author: Karen McCabe
Author: G.B. Wilson
Author: E.F. Kaner
Author: C.A. Haighton
Author: Ann Crosland

University Divisions

Faculty of Health Sciences and Wellbeing
Faculty of Health Sciences and Wellbeing > FHSW Executive

Subjects

Sciences > Health Sciences

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