Assembling the Socio-Cultural and Material Elements of Young Adults’ Drinking on a Night Out: A Synthesis of Australian Qualitative Research
Consuming alcohol in night-time entertainment (NTE) precincts is a common practice for young adults in urban environments. Public health research often emphasise the ‘harms’ associated with alcohol use in NTE precincts and views these as being a product of the widespread availability of alcohol. However, this obscures more complex accounts of the various elements at play in young adults’ alcohol use on a night out.
Employing assemblage thinking and a meta-ethnography of published qualitative research in Australia, this study analyses and assemble the socio-cultural and material elements that may coalesce in young adults alcohol use on a night out.
The study identifies a broad range of elements in assemblages of young adults alcohol use, including norms, settings and places, social elements, and desirable effects.
This study suggests that public health researchers pay closer attention to the diverse range of socio-cultural and material elements in which young adults’ alcohol use is entangled. The authors argue that assemblage thinking opens up new possibilities for maximizing the social connection and pleasure that engaging in NTE precincts affords young adults while also minimizing undesirable experiences.