Football's culture of intoxication : implications for health promotion
Palmer, C, Football's culture of intoxication : implications for health promotion, EASS 2010 : Proceedings of the 7th European Association for Sociology of Sport Conference : A Social Perspective on Sport, Health and Environment, 5-9 May 2010, Portugal, pp. 1-5. ISBN 978-3-8309-2015-1 (2010) [Refereed Conference Paper]
Objectives: The objective of this is article is to examine some of the strategies and interventions designed to encourage responsible alcohol consumption within Australian Rules football clubs.
Design: Qualitative research was undertaken with fans of four fans of football teams who compete in the South Australian National Football League (SANFL). In total, 93 interviews were conducted with male (80) and female (13) fans across these clubs. Interview data were thematically analysed with the assistance of the NVIVO software package. To elicit additional insight about the social meanings of drinking, researchers visited football games and a range of social functions.
Results: Analysis of the qualitative data suggests that formal interventions implemented by football clubs often prove ineffectual in encouraging responsible alcohol consumption, with more effective strategies aimed at dissuading heavy drinking being operationalized at an informal level by drinkers themselves through a number of ‘everyday’ or ‘lay’ strategies. Such strategies correspond to the broad analytical categories of ‘keeping safe’, ‘minimising damage’ and ‘taking charge’.
Conclusion: This focus on the role of lay strategies in informing health behaviours makes an important contribution to how we understand health promotion initiatives in relation to harmful drinking in sport and other contexts.