'I feel like I have to become part of that identity': negotiating femininities and friendships through alcohol consumption in Newcastle, UK

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Whilst women’s excessive alcohol consumption has traditionally been regarded as a potential threat to health, safety and even femininity, recent research highlights the important role that alcohol plays in many young women’s lives. Drawing on data from semi-structured interviews with women aged 18-25 in Newcastle, UK, this paper will consider the role that alcohol can play in the negotiation of female friendships in the Night Time Economy, highlighting the ways in which young women may regard alcohol as a tool to enhance socialising, trust and intimacy (both when pre-drinking and in bars, pubs and clubs). The role of alcohol in ‘doing’ gender and femininity will also be explored, as young women collectively display feminine identities through particular drinking choices and practices that may include heavy drinking and drunkenness. Finally, I will consider the implications for young women who do not engage in these collective practices of alcohol consumption and suggest avenues for future work on the under-researched topic of the experiences of non-drinkers.
Original languageEnglish
Article number102524
JournalInternational Journal of Drug Policy
Early online date22 Jul 2019
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2020


  • RCUK
  • ESRC
  • 1116903

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