New Alcohol Research Cluster on Sobriety, Abstinence and Moderation (SAM)
Members of the multi-disciplinary and international Drinking Studies Network are launching an exciting new research cluster for all scholars, practitioners and stakeholders interested in the areas of sobriety, abstinence and moderation. Excessive alcohol consumption and binge drinking have long caught the attention of the public and media. Yet past and present representations, understandings and experiences of abstinence and moderation – particularly in heavy drinking cultures – demand further scholarly attention. Researchers involved in the ‘Sobriety, Abstinence and Moderation’ (SAM) research cluster are interested in these themes in both a historic and contemporary context, spanning a range of disciplines including history, geography, sociology and literature. We also welcome members working in and beyond academia on all areas of sobriety, abstinence and moderation (including stakeholders in policy, healthcare and the voluntary sector)..
With recent declines in drinking rates across parts of the world including Europe and Australia – particularly amongst younger people – and the rise of ‘positive sobriety’ movements, ‘dry months’ and online communities, further research into the lived experiences, representations and challenges of drinking moderately or not at all is timely and important. In particular, an understanding of how non-drinking or moderate drinking is managed in cultures where alcohol consumption is expected, normalised or even felt to be ‘compulsory’ may provide useful lessons for policymakers, practitioners and healthcare professionals working towards challenging dominant norms around drinking and supporting individuals, communities and populations to change their relationships with alcohol.
2020 Alcohol vision
The Drinking Studies Network have launched a new section and are now compiling a mailing list of members and looking to ‘launch’ the cluster in a more official sense in 2020. If you are interested in joining the cluster and being added to our mailing list please contact Emily Nicholls. The cluster convenors Emily Nicholls (University of Portsmouth), Yannick Le Hénaff (Rouen Normandy University), David Beckingham (University of Nottingham) and Annemarie McAllister (University of Central Lancashire) look forward to developing opportunities for those of us working in this area to meet, network, share ideas and collaborate.
Rethinking Addiction and Recovery
In her article, 'Alcoholic' or 'alcohol-free'? Rethinking Addiction and Recovery Dr Nicholls explores the rise of ‘positive sobriety’ groups that seek to move beyond more traditional models of recovery and depict sobriety as a positive ‘lifestyle choice’ rather than linking it to addiction and disease. Dr Nicholls says, "If you are questioning your own relationship with alcohol, but find it hard to identify with traditional ideas around alcoholism and recovery (much like I did two years ago), thinking about sobriety in a different way could be a helpful step for you".
If you are questioning your own relationship with alcohol, but find it hard to identify with traditional ideas around alcoholism and recovery, thinking about sobriety in a different way could be a helpful step for you