Chapter

Introduction

James Nicholls

in The Politics of Alcohol

Published by Manchester University Press

Published in print October 2009 | ISBN: 9780719077050
Published online July 2012 | e-ISBN: 9781781702758 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7228/manchester/9780719077050.003.0001
Introduction

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This book deals with transformations that have characterised thinking about alcohol in England. It shows that the drink question has never been singular, even when it appeared to be. While this is a book about the politics of alcohol, it looks at the role of drink as a political issue in the widest sense. Drink is interesting for many reasons, but the main interest here is how ideas about drink provide an insight into the wider culture. The pub is, with good reason, seen as a social institution of unparalleled importance in English cultural life and beer has few equals in the pantheon of cultural signifiers of Englishness. And yet we have recently seen the phrase ‘Binge Britain’ become a media cliché; and when Tony Blair complained in 2004 that legislators faced a ‘new British disease’ of binge drinking he was not only repeating a sentiment commonplace in the contemporary press, but one which stretches back to some of the earliest texts examined by the book.

Keywords: England; drinking; alcohol; politics; drink; culture; pub; beer; binge drinking; Binge Britain

Chapter.  1943 words. 

Subjects: Political Theory

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