Wednesday, 29 October 2014

Question 23: What's your Atittude towards Alcohol?

IMG_6316I drink less alcohol when I'm in Sweden compared to when I'm in England. (And I'm not talking about when just visiting.) If it depends on who I socialise with or if people in Sweden drink less is not that easy to figure out. But in general I've experienced that people in Sweden more often suggest going for a coffee instead of a pint.

When I interviewed the Swenglish participants about their attitude towards alcohol I discovered that a majority had a complicated relationship with drinking, here's a typical answer:
“I really like drinking, the feeling of it, the social side, the taste, but I really don’t like getting too drunk and the way I feel the day after. In this country [UK] heavy drinking has become totally acceptable and that’s bad. It’s a poison. At the end of the day it gives you a lot of damage.”

People in England as well as in Sweden were very aware that alcohol causes misery such as angst-ridden hangovers, fights and rape. There were vey few who thought that alcohol was solely a fun thing, not having any problems with. Even if most people drank in moderation, they still felt anxious, about their health or because they sometimes went over the limit and said and did things they would regret after. People in England had a slightly more positive attitude towards alcohol, emphasising the social aspect.

There was an idea among some of the Swedish participants that people in England had a more healthy attitude towards alcohol, that the English were able to go for a beer after work, being more spontaneous, whereas Swedes always have to drink to get drunk. I agree that the attitude in England is mor relaxed, people can go for a pint in the afternoon without making a big deal of it, but it doesn't mean they drink less in the weekends or that alcohol causes less problems. Nowadays I've also experienced that people in Sweden drink in the week even though the pub culture is far from as big as in England.
This study is by no means scientific, the answers are based on interviewing 15 people in England and 15 people in Sweden, aged 22-59. A majority are heterosexual women, but there are a few men and some LGBT people in the study as well. Look out for the next question: What's your attitude towards drugs?