The Dissolution of the Alcohol Policy Field. Studies on the Nordic Countries

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Title: The Dissolution of the Alcohol Policy Field. Studies on the Nordic Countries
Author: Tigerstedt, Christoffer
Contributor: University of Helsinki, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Social Policy
Date: 2001-04-27
Language: en
Thesis level: Doctoral thesis
Abstract: In the 1990s the Finnish, Norwegian and Swedish state-centred alcohol policy tradition broke down. This study analyses strategic ideas and control political practices of this tradition. In addition, different interpretations of the discontinuation of the tradition are discussed. The data consists of official documents, research literature and statistics. The European economic integration had an impact on when and how the alcohol policy tradition broke down. However, the study shows that since the 1970s public health oriented alcohol policies have promoted the position of individual consumers thereby limiting the leeway of public alcohol policy. The public health discourse rejected normative moral regulation and disciplinary methods that prevailed in the 1950s and 1960s. Both the state alcohol administration and the temperance movement aligned with this discourse. Experts provided individuals with neutral advice and risk calculations, and individuals were increasingly made possible for their drinking habits. In Finland, Norway and Sweden, the powerful state-centred alcohol administrations facilitated a specific application of the public health discourse which aimed at keeping the aggregate alcohol consumption of a population under control. The study examines how this so called total consumption approach both limited and respected consumer freedom. Special reference is made to ideas formulated by the Finnish sociologist Kettil Bruun, who contributed to the development of this approach. The dissolution of the alcohol policy tradition corresponds to the break down of a specific, coordinated policy field within social policy. In historical terms, this is a new situation. For years, alcohol policy and social policy have been closely related to each other. During prohibition (1919-1932) alcohol control was presented as a substitute to social policy and poor relief, a substitute that also prevented the development of real social policy. When the Prohibition Act was repealed alcohol policy became a sub policy of its own with specific administrative boards, experts and public discussions. From the 1960s onward this sub policy tended to weaken and, as a results of the administrative reforms of the 1990s, eventually ceased to exist.
Description: Endast sammandrag. Inbundna avhandlingar kan sökas i Helka-databasen ( Elektroniska kopior av avhandlingar finns antingen öppet på nätet eller endast tillgängliga i bibliotekets avhandlingsterminaler.Only abstract. Paper copies of master’s theses are listed in the Helka database ( Electronic copies of master’s theses are either available as open access or only on thesis terminals in the Helsinki University Library.Vain tiivistelmä. Sidottujen gradujen saatavuuden voit tarkistaa Helka-tietokannasta ( Digitaaliset gradut voivat olla luettavissa avoimesti verkossa tai rajoitetusti kirjaston opinnäytekioskeilla.
Subject: alcohol policy - public health - Scandinavia
prevention - social policy - Scandinavia

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