How men who could be defined as binge drinkers talk about their views of drinking alcohol

  • Katherine Henden

Student thesis: PsychD


Introduction: Alcohol is consumed across the globe and has significant implications for individual health and wellbeing. The consumption of alcohol is substantial and widespread throughout the UK; increasingly so amongst women but particularly so amongst men who tend to drink more. The risk of adverse effects from alcohol are significantly higher for men when consumed in large quantities. The consumption of alcohol has been associated with masculine identity. Individuals are able to negotiate masculinity through heavy drinking or participating in an appropriate alternative behaviour. Binge drinkers did not identify with the term and used language descriptive of the behaviour. Methodology: The aim of the research was to explore how men who binge drink formulate their own binge drinking behaviour and the binge drinking behaviour of others. The research assumes a constructivist epistemology and realist ontology. Discourse analysis was used to identify discourses presented by men and examine how they were used. Data collection: Semi-structured interviews were conducted using a video conferencing platform. Seven individuals who identified as male were recruited through purposive sampling via advertisement on online social media platforms. Analysis: Two discourses were identified: being a controlled drinker and the rules of drinking. Participants presented the consumption of alcohol as being done within certain boundaries and used advantageous comparisons to demonstrate their drinking as controlled. Conclusions: The findings have implications for clinical practice in counselling psychology and would be useful in the construction of a psychological formulation. Binge drinking is an emotive term that have negative connotations. Participants constructed the two discourses to justify their behaviour and escape criticism.
Date of Award7 Feb 2023
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • University of Roehampton
SupervisorJohn Rae (Director of Studies) & Emma Kay (Co-Supervisor)


  • Binge drinking
  • discourse analysis
  • alcohol
  • talk
  • discourse
  • alcohol consumption
  • men
  • masculinity

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