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Pleasure, profit and pain: Alcohol in New Zealand and the contemporary culture of intoxication

This book details the rich, complex and often contested role of alcohol in New Zealand society. It explores the three fundamental alcohol rights that continue to fight for dominance of the national drinking culture: the rights of individual drinkers to enjoy the pleasures of alcohol, the rights of society to protect itself from the harms of alcohol, and the rights of the alcohol industry to profit from the sale of a legal commodity. Historically, most of our intoxicated drinkers were adult males and drinking was typically separated from family, food and entertainment. With the sweeping social changes of the 1960s and 1970s, women and later young people, increasingly engaged with alcohol. A growing proportion of these groups have since joined men in a culture of intoxication, or binge drinking culture as it is often termed. New Zealand is not alone however, in having a culture of intoxication, with similar alcohol consumption patterns evident in many other developed nations. This book identifies the local and the global influences that have affected New Zealand society (and much of the rest of the world) since the late 1900s and details how these influences have sustained the contemporary culture of intoxication. Finally, this book will propose that to implement effective change to our national drinking culture, the rights of the alcohol industry and of individual drinkers will need to be pulled back from the liberal excesses that the 1980s and 1990s provided. A re-balancing is required in order to strengthen and sustain society’s right to protect itself from alcohol-related harm.
Authored Book
Type of thesis
McEwan, B., Campbell, M., Lyons, A. & Swain, D. (2013). Pleasure, profit and pain: Alcohol in New Zealand and the contemporary culture of intoxication. Hamilton, New Zealand: University of Waikato Faculty of Arts & Social Sciences.
University of Waikato Faculty of Arts & Social Sciences
© Brett McEwan, Maxine Campbell, Antonia Lyons & David Swain. Creative Commons Attribution-Non-Commercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License which permits unrestricted non-commercial use, distribution and reproduction, provided the original work is properly cited. All commercial rights reserved: without permission in writing from the authors no part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, or any information storage and retrieval system, for commercial use.