Wednesday, 12 October 2011
Fifteen-minute lecture on rethinking alcohol policy
Worth a listen: anthropologist Kate Fox (no relation to Liam) proposes that people's reactions to alcohol are socially conditioned far more than people believe. Her conclusion is that government health warnings encourage people to cut down their drinking in order to reduce anti-social behaviour, even though people have been shown in tests over the last thirty years or so to respond to social cues and beliefs about how alcohol affects behaviour, as much as to alcohol itself. The government sends out the worst possible message: that drinking alters behaviour to the extent that people (especially the young) believe themselves not to be responsible for the things they do after a few beers. This is an interesting cross cultural examination of different attitudes to alcohol experienced in various cultures, and anyone with an interest in drinking should hear what Kate Fox has to say.