‘BRITISH DISEASE’, DRINKING AND PUBLIC SPACE

During the past few years, debate surrounding depictions of a ‘British disease’ of binge drinking in contrast to civil European drinking cultures has been a central feature of popular and political debate in the UK. This paper investigates the ways in which these drinking categories have been constructed and identifies how they have become key elements in the production and consumption of public space. Empirical findings are presented from a city in the UK to show how these labels are being translated into policy agendas through the construction of models of citizenship and ways of behaviour and operationalised through the designation and regulation of particular spaces via exclusion zones, quartering, planning and policing. The paper also highlights the ways in which discourses relating to British binge- and European-drinking are being adopted and interpreted by consumers and unpacks how this impacts on perception and experience of public space.

 

Mark Jayne, Gill Valentine & Sarah L. Holloway (2008) Fluid Boundaries—British Binge Drinking and European Civility: Alcohol and the Production and Consumption of Public Space, Space and Polity,

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