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Understanding English alcohol policy as a neoliberal condemnation of the carnivalesque.

Haydock, W., 2014. Understanding English alcohol policy as a neoliberal condemnation of the carnivalesque. Drugs: Education, Prevention, and Policy, 1 - 7.

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DOI: 10.3109/09687637.2014.969682


Much academic work has argued that alcohol policy in England over the past 25 years can be characterised as neoliberal, particularly in regard to the night-time economy and attempts to address “binge” drinking. Understanding neoliberalism as a particular “mentality of government” that circumscribes the range of policy options considered appropriate and practical for a government to take, this article notes how the particular application of policy can vary by local context. This article argues that the approach of successive governments in relation to alcohol should be seen as based on a fear and condemnation of the carnivalesque, understood as a time when everyday norms and conventions are set aside, and the world is – for a limited period only – turned inside out. This analysis is contrasted with previous interpretations that have characterised government as condemning intoxication and particular forms of pleasure taken in drinking. Although these concepts are useful in such analysis, this article suggests that government concerns are broader and relate to wider cultures surrounding drunkenness. Moreover, there is an ambivalence to policy in relation to alcohol that is better conveyed by the concept of the carnivalesque than imagining simply a condemnation of pleasure or intoxication.

Item Type:Article
Uncontrolled Keywords:Alcohol ; Binge ; Carnivalesque ; Government ; Intoxication ; Pleasure ; Policy
Group:Faculty of Health & Social Sciences
ID Code:21546
Deposited By: Symplectic RT2
Deposited On:05 Nov 2014 09:23
Last Modified:14 Mar 2022 13:50


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