Drinking stories as a narrative genre: The five classic themes

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Drinking stories feature widely in Western societies. Many people eagerly share their stories in the aftermath of drinking events. These stories are also common in books, movies, music and the media. Based on qualitative interviews with 104 young Norwegian heavy episodic drinkers, the article seeks to establish drinking stories as a distinct narrative genre. We argue that this narrative genre of drinking stories comes from an oral storytelling tradition which uses transgressions to trigger interest, entertain, and challenge commonly held views. These transgressions typically come in the form of playful violations of conventions and common sense and tend to centre around five classic themes: sex, bodily harm, bodily fluids, lawbreaking and pranks. While often dismissed as trivial, vulgar and of little literary value, drinking stories are highly valued by many people and have significant consequences for how people experience drinking and behave while being drunk.

Details

Authors
External organisations
  • University of Oslo
Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Social Sciences Interdisciplinary

Keywords

  • alcohol, drinking story, genre, narrative analysis, narrative criminology, transgression
Original languageEnglish
JournalActa Sociologica (United Kingdom)
Publication statusPublished - 2019 Jan 1
Publication categoryResearch
Peer-reviewedYes
Externally publishedYes