Flaunting it on Facebook: Prof Antonia Lyons, Massey University, New Zealand

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Date(s) - 10/06/2015
10:30 am - 12:00 pm

Centre for Executive Education, Room 2,


Glasgow Caledonian University warmly welcomes Professor Antonia Lyons of Massey University, New Zealand. Professor Massey will be delivering a talk entitled Flaunting it on Facebook on Wednesday 10th of June at 10:30am. 

The event is free but ticketed so all those who wish to attend please book your tickets at: https://www.eventbrite.com

Young adults regularly engage in heavy drinking episodes with groups of friends. They are also high users of social networking technologies such as Facebook, and are said to be obsessed with identity, image and celebrity. In this talk I provide an overview of research that explored how new technologies are being used by young people in their drinking practices and cultures. In total 141 participants (aged 18-25) took part in 34 friendship focus group discussions (12 Pākehā, 12 Māori and 10 Pasifika groups), while 23 young adults took part in individual interviews where they showed and discussed their Facebook pages. Popular online material regarding alcohol consumption was also collected. Critical, in-depth qualitative analyses across the multimodal datasets demonstrated major convergences across ethnic groups in terms of the centrality of alcohol to social life, and Facebook was central before, during and following drinking episodes. However, the meanings, risks and pleasures of these practices varied by ethnicity, gender and class. Being visible online was important and young adults ‘celebritised the self’ by routinely posting on Facebook. Digital marketing was commonplace and sophisticated in this context, and was drawn on enthusiastically and often uncritically by young adults to develop social relationships and cultural capital. The findings are considered in terms of their implications for theorizing contemporary drinking cultures and the current ‘culture of intoxication’, as well as alcohol policies and health promotion strategies.