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Journal Article

Citation

Russell LD, Arthur T. Health Commun. 2015; 31(8): 917-925.

Affiliation

Department of Communication , Denison University.

Copyright

(Copyright © 2015, Informa Healthcare)

DOI

10.1080/10410236.2015.1018700

PMID

26698857

Abstract

Among the many health issues relevant to college students, overconsumption of alcohol remains a prevalent concern. Circumscribing the drinking habits occurring on campuses are innumerable social norms furthering popular beliefs that alcohol is an inherent part of college life. This case study examines how students encounter, interpret and express the social norms they conceive as constituting their campus culture. Through triangulating ethnographic practices with in-depth interviews, we utilize a narrative lens to explore how students construct meanings and values for alcohol's roles in campus life. Our findings demonstrate how students validate uses of alcohol by coupling its presence with stress, social enhancement, peer responsibility and identity. Moreover, interviewees expressed there being subcultural differences between younger and older students' discourse around alcohol use. We draw from these observations to offer suggestions for engaging students actively in campus interventions that give rise to voices excluded from commonly construed social norms.


Language: en

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