New book challenges the assumption that youth drinking is in decline globally

New book challenges the assumption that youth drinking is in decline globally

Publication title: Reconfiguring Drinking Cultures, Gender, and Transgressive Selves
Author: Dr Emeka Dumbili
Publication type: Book (Hardback)
Publication date: 24/03/2024
Number of pages: 321
ISBN number: 978-3-031-53317-4

The harmful use of alcohol causes an estimated 3 million deaths every year, of which a significant proportion occur in the young. While alcohol consumption among youth appears to be decreasing in North America and Europe, a new book by University College Dublin (UCD)’s Dr Emeka Dumbili challenges the assumption that youth drinking is ‘in decline’ globally.

Focusing on Nigerian youth, Reconfiguring Drinking Cultures, Gender, and Transgressive Selves (Palgrave Macmillan, 2024) presents an in-depth analysis of young people’s experiences of diverse drinking practices, offering a rare analysis of the gendering of alcohol in a non-Western context.

Dr Dumbili interrogates why, and to what extent, young people's drinking is on the rise in low and middle income countries, in sharp contrast to youth drinking decline in most Western countries. He explains, “This book moves beyond solely Western theorising. Combining Western and non-Western theorisations, it provides insights into the alcohol industry’s role in gendered transgressive drinking and highlights the need to urge caution in generalising youth drinking decline.”

An Assistant Professor and Ad Astra Fellow at UCD’s School of Sociology, Dr Dumbili’s research focuses on the gendering of alcohol, evolving drinking cultures, and the effects of alcohol marketing and policy processes. He continues, “The book analyses how young people enact masculinities and femininities through transgressive and conforming drinking practices that reconfigure drinking cultures through heavy drinking and intoxication. I examine how global and local alcohol corporations contribute to gendered transgressive drinking in Nigeria by their targeted marketing to young people, and consider the impacts of imposed alcohol regulations and reactions of resistance and subversion.”

Executive Director at the Centre for Research and Information on Substance Abuse (CRISA) in Uyo, Nigeria, Professor Isidore S. Obot, said, "The research literature on alcohol and society in Nigeria is sparse at best. This is a significant contribution to research on alcohol in Africa with immense policy relevance, especially at this time when Nigeria and other countries are grappling with the development of national alcohol policies."

The book will benefit students, social scientists, policymakers, and those interested in decolonising gender scholarship or commercial determinants of health.

Dr Dumbili is a mentor on the WHO Scientific Research and Writing Mentorship Initiative towards diversity in research on alcohol control policies, and has held teaching and research positions in universities and institutes in Nigeria, Germany, and the UK. Watch the November 2023 World Health Organisation Webinar on Youth and Alcohol featuring Dr Emeka Dumbili.

For more information and to purchase the book visit the Springer website, enter discount code: YTY9B7afrAJKRp at checkout, valid Mar 27, 2024 – Apr 24, 2024 (20% off the printed book or eBook).

Book Reviews:

"Alcohol has diverse usage: as an intoxicant, medicine, antiseptic, for pleasure, in ritual, and as exchange value. The cultural intervention to impose regulation on the who and how of this usage negatively impacts the socio-political dynamics of gender, age, race and class. We thus get the reactions of resistance, transgression and subversion. Emeka Dumbili’s very interesting book, with its focus on Nigerian youth, examines the local contexts of these dynamics. Insightfully, it also shows the global and intercultural reach of the contradictions embodied in male-gendering of drinking alcohol and an associated macho-culture that is promoted by patriarchy and capitalism. The excluded categories, the youth, in particular, resort to secrecy with its detrimental consequences, such as heavy drinking, intoxication and violence. In this corrupting process, capitalism undervalues and undermines the natural African and traditional local productions and industry. With new alcohol products, promises of enhanced sexual performance and new drinking habits that generate new personna, class and gender consciousness, the youth and women express new modernity-derived status through drinking new brands of alcohol. They thereby relegate the peasant masses to a derogatory supposed primitiveness. This is an informative, enjoyable and educational book, with a rich and detailed narrative of people’s lived experiences that supersedes the simple problematization of alcohol." (Ifi Amadiume, Professor, Dartmouth College, USA)

"A valuable addition to the literature on gender and alcohol consumption, with a welcome and timely focus on the Nigerian context that complicates the assumption that youth drinking is ‘in decline’ globally. Dumbili’s nuanced, rich and comprehensive work meaningfully extends our understanding of gender and drinking in an African context, centring a particular geographical space yet at the same time presenting arguments and insights with wider applicability to a range of global settings. The foregrounding of the theme of ‘transgression’ presents a powerful lens through which to interrogate gender and drinking and enhances contemporary theorisations of sexuality, masculinity and femininity in both Western and non-Western contexts." (Dr Emily Nicholls, Lecturer in Sociology, University of York)

"The research literature on alcohol and society in Nigeria is sparse at best. Clearly lacking are analyses that highlight the social and demographic factors associated with drinking and its consequences. Using findings from qualitative research, Dr Dumbili has provided an in-depth analysis of the drinking culture among Nigerian youth, drawing on many years of experience. The work focuses attention on critical issues like alcohol and gender, drinking motivations, and the pernicious behaviour of the alcohol industry of targeting youth. This is a significant contribution to research on alcohol in Africa with immense policy relevance, especially at this time when Nigeria and other countries are grappling with the development of national alcohol policies." (Isidore S. Obot , Professor, Executive Director, Centre for Research and Information on Substance Abuse (CRISA), Uyo, Nigeria)

Regions: Europe, Ireland, Albania, Andorra, Armenia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Belgium, Bosnia and Herzegowina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, European Union and Organisations, Finland, France, Georgia, Germany, Gibraltar, Greece, Greenland, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Kosovo, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Moldova, Monaco, Montenegro, Netherlands, North Macedonia, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Russian Federation, San Marino, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, Ukraine, United Kingdom, Vatican City State (Holy See), North America, United States, Africa, Nigeria
Keywords: Society, People in Society research, Policy - society, Health, Public Dialogue - health, Well being


For well over a decade, in my capacity as a researcher, broadcaster, and producer, I have relied heavily on Alphagalileo.
All of my work trips have been planned around stories that I've found on this site.
The under embargo section allows us to plan ahead and the news releases enable us to find key experts.
Going through the tailored daily updates is the best way to start the day. It's such a critical service for me and many of my colleagues.
Koula Bouloukos, Senior manager, Editorial & Production Underknown
We have used AlphaGalileo since its foundation but frankly we need it more than ever now to ensure our research news is heard across Europe, Asia and North America. As one of the UK’s leading research universities we want to continue to work with other outstanding researchers in Europe. AlphaGalileo helps us to continue to bring our research story to them and the rest of the world.
Peter Dunn, Director of Press and Media Relations at the University of Warwick
AlphaGalileo has helped us more than double our reach at SciDev.Net. The service has enabled our journalists around the world to reach the mainstream media with articles about the impact of science on people in low- and middle-income countries, leading to big increases in the number of SciDev.Net articles that have been republished.
Ben Deighton, SciDevNet

We Work Closely With...

  • BBC
  • The Times
  • National Geographic
  • The University of Edinburgh
  • University of Cambridge
Copyright 2024 by AlphaGalileo Terms Of Use Privacy Statement