Analysing gender in research and policy on alcohol-related violence among young people

In recent years, the issue of ‘alcohol-fuelled violence’, particularly among young people, has generated intense policy debate in Australia. While this debate is warranted, its contours and outcomes have been informed by a relatively narrow range of research resources. In particular, although Australian quantitative research shows a disproportionate involvement of young men in alcohol-related violence, and qualitative research highlights the complexities of gender and power and the contribution of masculinities to such violence, these issues receive scant attention in the research recommendations typically informing contemporary policy debate and its outcomes.

This ARC-funded project addresses the urgent need for an analysis of the gender concepts operating in research and policy on alcohol and violence among young people and involves an international comparison of research and policy in Australia, Canada and Sweden. It consists of textual analysis of key alcohol policy strategies and research articles, as well as in-depth interviews with alcohol policy stakeholders and researchers, across the three countries.

The project builds on and extends research already conducted by the research team that identifies how unexamined concepts, such as gender, influence alcohol and other drug research and policy, and the social sciences. It aims to produce typologies of gender concepts that will act as a practical resource for re-examining the assumptions shaping responses to alcohol-related violence. The analysis will significantly advance understandings of research and policy in all three countries, and inform the development of more effective, credible and equitable responses to alcohol-related violence among young people in Australia.

Data collection was completed in Australia, Canada and Sweden in early 2021. Several peer-reviewed articles analysing the treatment of gender in Australian quantitative research and government policy on ‘alcohol-related violence’ have been published, as well as book chapters on masculinities and intoxication, and on intoxication and violence in Australian alcohol policy discourse (see publications below). The research team is preparing further research outputs by analysing in-depth interviews conducted with quantitative alcohol researchers and policy stakeholders in each country. Workshops reporting the project findings and their implications for understanding gender, alcohol and violence are planned for 2022.

The project team

Chief investigators:

  • Prof David Moore, Australian Research Centre in Sex, Health and Society, La Trobe University, Australia
  • Prof Helen Keane, School of Sociology, The Australian National University, Australia

Partner investigators:

Project staff:

  • Dr Duane Duncan, Australian Research Centre in Sex, Health and Society, La Trobe University, Australia. (On project up to June 2021.)
  • Ms Emily Lenton, School of Sociology, The Australian National University, Australia. (On project up to August 2020.)
  • Dr Adrian Farrugia, Australian Research Centre in Sex, Health and Society, La Trobe University, Australia. (On project between July and December 2021.)

Publications

Moore, D., Keane, H., Duncan, D., & Lenton, E. (in press). Handling complexity: Constituting the relationship between intoxication and violence in Australian alcohol policy discourse. In G. Hunt & V. Asmussen Frank (Eds.), Routledge Handbook of Intoxicants and Intoxication. Routledge.

Farrugia, A., Moore, D., Keane, H., Ekendahl, M., Graham, K., & Duncan, D. (2022). Noticed and then forgotten: Gender in alcohol policy stakeholder responses to alcohol and violence. Qualitative Health Research, 32(10), 1419-1432.

Keane, H., Moore, D., & Graham, K. (2022). Part of culture or toxic substance? Realities in transition in Australian and Canadian alcohol policy documents. Contemporary Drug Problems, https://doi.org/10.1177/00914509221109667

Ekendahl, M., Keane, H., & Moore, D. (2022). The analytical, the political and the personal: Swedish stakeholder narratives about alcohol policy at football stadiums. Critical Policy StudiesDOI: 10.1080/19460171.2022.2065324

Moore, D., Keane, H., Ekendahl, M., & Graham, K. (2022). Gendering practices in quantitative research on alcohol and violence: Comparing research from Australia, Canada and Sweden. International Journal of Drug Policy, 103: 103669.

Duncan, D., Keane, H., Moore, D., Ekendahl, M., & Graham, K. (2022). Making gender along the way: Women, men and harm in Australian alcohol policy. Critical Policy Studies,16(1), 1-18.

Moore, D., Duncan, D., Keane, H., & Ekendahl, M. (2021). Displacements of gender: Research on alcohol, violence and the night-time economy. Journal of Sociology, 57(4), 860-876.

Duncan, D., Moore, D., Keane, H., & Ekendahl, M. (2020). Obscuring gendered difference: The treatment of violence in Australian government alcohol policy. Social Politics: International Studies in Gender, State & Society, doi.org/10.1093/sp/jxaa038

Moore, D. (2020). Masculinities and intoxication: Notes towards a co-constitutive approach. In F. Hutton (Ed.), Cultures of intoxication: Key issues and debates (pp. 211-235). Palgrave Macmillan.

Moore, D., Keane, H., & Duncan, D. (2020). Enacting alcohol realities: Gendering practices in Australian studies on ‘alcohol-related presentations’ to emergency departments. Sociology of Health and Illness, 42, 3-19.

Submissions

Moore, D., Keane, H., Fraser, S., valentine, k., & Seear, K. (2021). Submission to the Web-Based Consultation on the World Health Organization’s ‘Global Alcohol Action Plan 2022-2030’.

Moore, D., Keane, H., & Duncan, D. (2020). Submission on the Draft NHMRC Australian Guidelines to Reduce Health Risks from Drinking Alcohol.

Conference and Seminar Presentations

Ekendahl, M. (2022). The analytical, the political and the personal: Swedish stakeholder narratives about alcohol policy at football stadiums. Australian Research Centre in Sex, Health and Society Research and Practice Seminar Series, 15 June, Melbourne.

Duncan, D., Keane, H., & Moore, D. (2019). Realising change in the gendering practices of Australian alcohol policy. Paper presented at the Contemporary Drug Problems conference, Prato, Italy, 4-6 September.

Moore, D., Duncan, D., & Keane, H. (2019). Retrieving gender in quantitative research on alcohol and violence. Paper presented at the Contemporary Drug Problems conference, Prato, Italy, 4-6 September.