People’s real preferences regarding products and environments liberated from alcohol
Social norms are shared standards of acceptable behavior by groups. The currently pervasive alcohol norm is such a standard for expected behavior and the role of alcohol in social settings and events. It is a largely informal understanding that governs the behavior of members of a society, community, and or group and drives alcohol availability.
Social normative influences about our beliefs, expectations, and preferences about alcohol, as well as our understanding of alcohol’s role in society, alcohol harm and its root causes are powerful drivers of human behavior with regards to alcohol-free environments and alcohol consumption, promotion, or the normalization of sobriety.
The alcohol norm is a very oppressive social norm. Deconstructing its effects and harms helps understand that people’s real preferences are much more diverse than only using or not using alcohol; and that many people prefer social settings liberated from alcohol.
Google users, Disney+ customers, British pub goers, Swiss supermarket customers, Norwegian parents, people going on dates in 2022, and the music industry are examples of the growing trend to question the role alcohol is supposed to play and where people clearly express preferences for products and places to be free from alcohol.
The current alcohol norm is oppressive. A groundbreaking analysis from Sweden shows that the pervasive social norm promoting alcohol use doesn’t reflect people’s real preferences and wishes, but only those of the alcohol industry and a small minority of influential people.
But of course, Big Alcohol is doing all they can to perpetuate the alcohol norm, to push alcohol on everyone, everywhere, all the time, and to create the illusion that everyone likes alcohol and wants to have alcohol play a central role all the time.