Drinking emotions

By Rosa Mas Giralt

According to the BBC reporter Jim Reeds, the Home Office has just announced plans to return power to local authorities to police drinking behaviour in their streets. This proposal follows criticisms of the ‘24 hour drinking policy’ which was introduced with the aim of staggering the closing of bars and other establishments, therefore reducing drinking related problems and anti-social behaviour in the city centres and streets of England and Wales. The new plans, currently under consultation, would include Councils being able to stop drinking in their streets after midnight, bars being charged a late night fee due to extra-policing expenditure and supermarkets and other establishments being banned from selling drinks at ‘below cost’ price. This is a new episode on the long-standing battle of public authorities in the UK to reduce excessive drinking and its related public safety and health impacts.

In a forthcoming article for Transactions of the Institute of British Geographers, Mark Jayne, Gill Valentine and Sarah L. Holloway argue for an emotional, embodied and affective approach to researching alcohol, drinking and drunkenness. Such an approach, they suggest, can provide a bridge between scholarship focusing on health and legislation issues related to excessive drinking and that centred on the social and cultural aspects of these practices; therefore, providing a more holistic context in which to understand the complexity of factors which play a role in people’s experiences of drinking and their related impacts.

 Watch Jim Reed’s report “24-hour drinking culture ‘failed’, Home Office says” on the BBC website.

 Read Mark Jayne, Gill Valentine and Sarah L Holloway (2010). “Emotional, embodied and affective geographies of alcohol, drinking and drunkenness”. Transactions of the Institute of British Geographers. [Early view]

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