‘This important study sheds new light on the societal tensions that shape the many meanings of intoxication and drunkenness. It is a must read for scholars, medical experts, policy makers, and media personnel engaged in discussion about alcohol.’ Choice: Current Reviews for Academic Libraries, April 2012, vol 49, no 08.
Everyone knows what intoxication and drunkenness are, what they look like, how to define and measure them and what their consequences are. At least we might assume so given the ways these words are used by the media, by politicians and policy makers and by various medical, educational and legal experts in Australia and around the world.
A whole variety of concerns about young people, individual and public health, road safety, sexual assault and violence are connected to these taken-for-granted understandings of intoxication and drunkenness.
Drawing on an extensive review of research from biomedicine, psychology, sociology and legal studies, and from news media reporting, the authors reveal a far more complex picture.
This is a picture marked by little agreement on how to define intoxication and drunkenness, how to measure intoxication, what getting drunk means to those who drink (including young people, men and women and people from different cultural and national backgrounds), and where responsibility lies for many of the individual, social, medical and legal consequences of intoxication and drunkenness.
Smashed! presents an overview of the history of these concerns and an extensive account of the many meanings of intoxication and drunkenness at the start of the 21st century. It provides a valuable resource for researchers, policy makers, the media and members of the community who are involved in these ongoing, often emotive, debates.
Peter Kelly is an Associate Professor/Principal Research Fellow in the Alfred Deakin Research Institute at Deakin University. He has published extensively on young people, youth at-risk and the practice of Youth Studies. His research is currently focused on exploring the emergence of new work identities, obligations, and responsibilities in a globalised risk economy, and the ways these concerns find expression in discussions about new work ethics in populations such as young workers.
Jenny Advocat is a Research Fellow in the Southern Academic Primary Care Research Unit (SAPCRU) in the School of Primary Health Care, Monash University. With a background in Medical Anthropology and Health Sociology, she has researched and published in a variety of areas, including around the use of the Internet for research and treatment, young people and alcohol use, work/life balance and complementary medicine.
Lyn Harrison is an Associate Professor in the School of Education (Faculty of Arts and Education) at Deakin University, and coordinates the university’s Graduate Certificate in Higher Education. Her research interests lie in exploring youth subjectivity and the production of risks in late modernity, particularly in relation to health, well-being and sexuality.
Chris Hickey is an Associate Professor and Deputy Head in the School of Education at Deakin University. His research has focused on youth studies and the links between identity and issues of social cohesion and exclusion. His work investigating the behaviours of young males as members of peer groups within sport, physical education and popular culture is recognised internationally. He maintains a strong interest in the translation of research into practice and has enjoyed extensive work with schools and sporting clubs. He is currently Chief Editor of the Asia-Pacific Journal of Health, Sport and Physical Education.