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Alcohol and the Constitution of Friendship for Young Adults

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journal contribution
posted on 20.12.2021, 06:57 by Sarah MacLeanSarah MacLean
MacLean S. Alcohol and the Constitution of Friendship for Young Adults. Sociology. 2016;50(1):93-108. doi:10.1177/0038038514557913

Abstract:
Friendship, sociologists suggest, is defined by institutionalized rules to a lesser degree than other important relationships. Hence it must be sustained through specific friendship-making practices. Social science literature tends to conceptualize friendship as enhancing the pleasures of alcohol use rather than as central to friendship production. This article examines alcohol as a technology in contemporary young adults’ friendship-making. Interviews with 60 drinkers aged 18–24 years in Melbourne, Australia demonstrate that drinking builds intimacy, particularly when similar levels of intoxication are achieved. Fear in night-time entertainment precincts underlines trust in friends. To manage uncertainty about responsibilities involved in friendship, young adults negotiate how they will care for each other when they are drunk. Providing this care occasionally jeopardizes friendship, in different ways for women and men. Understanding the import of friendship-making in alcohol use helps explain the persistence of heavy drinking and suggest opportunities for harm reduction. © 2015, SAGE Publications. All rights reserved.

Funding

The Australian Research Council (LP 100100017), VicHealth and the Victorian Department of Health funded this research and Hume City Council, Yarra City Council and the Municipal Association of Victoria made in-kind contributions.

History

Publication Date

01/02/2016

Journal

Sociology

Volume

50

Issue

1

Pagination

16p. (p. 93-108)

Publisher

SAGE

ISSN

0038-0385

Rights Statement

The Author reserves all moral rights over the deposited text and must be credited if any re-use occurs. Documents deposited in OPAL are the Open Access versions of outputs published elsewhere. Changes resulting from the publishing process may therefore not be reflected in this document. The final published version may be obtained via the publisher’s DOI. Please note that additional copyright and access restrictions may apply to the published version.

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