Drinking cultures, subcultures and drinking practices

Investigators: Sarah Callinan, Megan Cook, Robyn Dwyer, Michael Livingston, Sarah MacLean, Amy Pennay, Robin Room, Michael Savic, Oliver Stanesby, Claire Wilkinson.



Alcohol cultures in middle and older age groups  

CAPR has completed a study, funded by VicHealth, examining examine alcohol cultures in middle- and older-age groups in Victoria – Generation X, born 1965 to 1980, and Baby Boomers, born 1946 to 1964. This included quantitative and qualitative studies of norms and behaviours in three heavier-drinking subgroups of middle- and older-age Victorians – sports-bar patrons, construction workers, and in regional and rural Victorian settings.


The research examined factors influencing drinking in particular settings and subcultures, what is or is not socially accepting regarding drinking, and, possible ideas you may have about how drinking cultures could be changed. This work is summarised in the following Brief Insights:


Drinking cultures and change

The above research drew upon an earlier piece of work for VicHealth, a critical review of the meaning and connotations of “drinking culture” in social research on alcohol problems:

Savic, M., Room, R., Mugavin, J., Pennay, A. & Livingston, M. (2016). Defining “drinking culture”: a critical review of its meaning and connotation in social research on alcohol problems, Drugs: Education, Prevention and Policy, 23:4, 270-282


Pennay and Room edited a thematic journal issue drawing together papers on drinking cultures and change from Denmark, Italy, Finland and Australia, providing also an introductory essay exploring some of the complexities of studying cultural change, whether locally or in whole societies:

Pennay, A. & Room, R. (2016). Drinking cultures and change – local, national and global. Drugs: Education, Prevention and Policy, 23(4), 267-269.