Department of Psychology and Behavioural Sciences

Maria Dich Herold

‘Congenial drinking’ and accomplishments of place-belongingness among young people in rural Denmark

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While research on youthful drinking is extensive, the literature has been geographically skewed towards urban settings. As a potential corrective to this, our focus in this paper is on youthful drinking in rural Denmark. Based on 22 in-depth interviews with young drinkers, this paper explores the drinking practices of rural youth. More specifically, drawing on Antonsich’s [2010. “Searching for belonging–an analytical framework.” Geography Compass 4 (6): 644–659] notion of place-belongingness, we examine how sentiments of belonging relate to locally embedded drinking practices. We highlight the extent to which rural drinking places are characterized by the participation of young men, whose educational and professional aims are predominantly tied to the local community and activities within it. In so doing, we show that these contexts are primarily associated with ‘drinking a single’, as opposed to drinking to intoxication like their urban peers. We argue further that these ‘lighter’ but frequent forms of alcohol use, which we term ‘congenial drinking’, are related to accomplishments of place-belongingness and stand out as a gendered, classed and place-bound phenomenon.

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Youth Studies
Pages (from-to)578-595
Number of pages18
Publication statusPublished - 2020

    Research areas

  • Rural youth, Alcohol use, Belonging, Gender, Education

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