Managing anti-consumption in an excessive drinking culture

Maria G. Piacentini, Emma N. Banister

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


A major contemporary challenge facing governments and health professionals is that of promoting sustainable and healthy approaches to alcohol consumption in a context where excessive alcohol consumption is the dominant trend [Plant M., Plant M., Binge Britain: the need for courage. Alcoholis 2006; 25, 3: 1.]. This article reports the results of a qualitative study examining the experiences of Higher Education students in the United Kingdom who are identifiable as anti-consumers because of their opposition to the alcohol norms that predominate. The article focuses on how these students deal with the challenges and consequences that can arise from resisting the prevailing norms and practices. This article demonstrates that existing frameworks and categorizations in the contexts of anti-consumption, product and brand avoidance and coping are capable of providing useful theoretical tools for the examination of anti-consumption within the social marketing context. The article identifies some of the implicit tensions of being an anti-consumer in an environment of excessive consumption and provides examples of how consumers seek to manage these tensions. The use of the above theoretical perspectives can usefully inform policy that aims to promote sensible drinking among young people and students in particular. © 2008 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)279-288
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Business Research
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2009


  • Alcohol consumption
  • Anti-consumption
  • Coping
  • Social marketing


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