The analytical, the political and the personal: Swedish stakeholder narratives about alcohol policy at football stadiums

Event status:

An image of Mats Eckendal in front of green foliage ARCSHS invites you to a research and practice seminar with Professor Mats Ekendahl, exploring how Swedish alcohol policy stakeholders' constructions of 'truth' about alcohol consumption affect public campaigns around drinking at Swedish sports events.

Wednesday 15 June 2022 04:00 pm until Wednesday 15 June 2022 05:00 pm (Add to calendar)
Stephanie Lusby
Presented by:
Professor Mats Ekendahl
Type of Event:
Forum/symposium; Public Lecture; Seminar/Workshop/Training; Public

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For public health interventions to be effective, they need to be supported or at least accepted by those affected by them, and social policy should therefore be understood as political and strategic. This raises questions about the relationship between the analytical, the political and the personal in policy processes. The presentation offers an in-depth analysis of such issues, as they were enacted during interviews with Swedish alcohol policy stakeholders. It focuses on the assumptions and a priori ‘truths’ articulated in interview discussions about Responsible Beverage Services (RBS) at Swedish football stadiums, as practiced in the policy initiative ‘Football Without Bingeing’. We argue that the participants combined different narrative forms, such as seemingly objective chronological accounts and personal ethical judgments, in talking about the policy initiative. Through such narrative intersections, three key ‘truths’ were produced that reinforced the link between alcohol and violence, necessitated blanket population-level measures to reduce alcohol use and made gendered behaviour an irrelevant policy target: ‘people should drink less’, ‘prevention is effective’ and ‘men’s drinking is not the problem’. We close by discussing what might be gained in alcohol policy if stakeholders acknowledge how the analytical, the political and the personal are intertwined in policy.

About Professor Mats Ekendahl

Mats Ekendahl is a Professor of Social Work at the Department of Social Work, Stockholm University, Sweden. His research covers a wide range of topics in the context of Swedish alcohol and drug policy, such as user perspectives, drug discourses and policy processes. Together with Patrik Karlsson, he has recently published articles on relapse prevention for substance use problems.


This event will be recorded and later published with full captions. A live Auslan interpreter is available on request; please let us know as soon as possible to allow for interpreter bookings.

Online - Zoom Webinar

La Trobe University



29 Nov 2022 4:18 pm

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