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Title: Media, alcohol consumption and young people in an eastern Nigerian university campus : a qualitative study
Author: Dumbili, Emeka W.
ISNI:       0000 0004 5915 8208
Awarding Body: Brunel University London
Current Institution: Brunel University
Date of Award: 2015
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This study draws on cultivation analysis (Gerbner, 1969) to explore the interrelating factors concerning the role of media in young people’s consumption of alcohol at a south-eastern Nigerian university. Nigeria has the second highest alcohol consumption in Africa. Traditionally, drinking spaces were dominated by adult males for socio-cultural reasons but in contemporary Nigeria there is increasing concern that younger men and women are now also drinking harmfully. Qualitative interviews were conducted with 22 male and 9 female undergraduate students (aged 19-23 years) to explore the ways in which media consumption shapes their drinking behaviour. Whilst young people’s consumption of both local and foreign media was high and gendered, one key motivation for using alcohol was aspirational, particularly among those who consumed Hollywood films. Many of the participants who consumed Hollywood films may have learned to associate heavy consumption with high social status. Importantly, this thesis demonstrates that although local films portray alcohol in a mainly negative light, this also motivates young people to drink as they learn how to use alcohol to ameliorate anxiety or depression. Young people’s drinking patterns were found to be gendered, underscoring a resilient socio-cultural belief in which men see alcohol as good for males while women believe that it should not be confined to men. Consequently, the women employed male-gendered drinking behaviours such as heavy drinking to develop social capital. At the same time, both male and female participants discussed taking part in risky sexual behaviour but the outcomes differed for males and females, with this behaviour being more stigmatised in women. Alcohol advertising and promotion were found to be highly influential because they encourage brand preference and brand allegiance, actively facilitate change of brand, and lead to excessive consumption amongst male and female participants. Although the participants confirmed that promotional activities facilitate alcohol misuse, they argued that promotions should not be regulated because promotional prizes alleviate poverty. This study furthers the discussion on cultivation theory by demonstrating that heavy television viewing cultivates alcohol consumption among this population and it contributes to cultivation and audience research by revealing that negative portrayals can also influence young people. This study’s findings can inform educational campaigns and policy formulation in Nigeria, particularly those that tackle alcohol availability, heavy episodic drinking and risky sexual behaviour; and those that encourage media literacy and more positive and equal relationships between women and men.
Supervisor: Henderson, L. Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Alcohol marketing ; Drinking games ; Cultivation theory ; Gendering of alcohol ; Risky sexual behaviour