Social capital stories behind young women’s drinking practices

Godwin, Megan, Drennan, Judy, & Previte, Josephine (2016) Social capital stories behind young women’s drinking practices. Journal of Social Marketing, 6(3), pp. 294-314.

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  • The purpose of this paper is to explore the meso-level social forces that influence moderate drinking in young women’s friendship groups through the application of social capital theory.


  • A qualitative inquiry was undertaken utilising peer-paired and small focus groups to explore young women’s drinking choices within their existing friendship groups. Guided by emic and etic perspectives, friendship groups were analysed to inform archetypical representations that illustrate group-level social capital exchanges.


  • The approach led to identifying four social capital and drinking archetypes. These archetypes indicate social capital-led “influencers” and “followers” and highlight the displays of capital practised by young women in alcohol consumption contexts.

Research limitations/implications

  • The social marketing insight drawn from this study of young women’s drinking behaviours will inform social marketers on future strategic directions about how they can use alternative methods to segment the social market of young female drinkers and develop value propositions that will motivate them towards adopting or maintaining moderate drinking practices.


  • This study contributes to social marketing theory by demonstrating the worth of social capital theory as an alternative lens for social marketers to apply in explorations of group influences that shape behaviour. The research findings in the paper demonstrate how deeper theorisation provides rich insight into the meso-level, complex behavioural influence which effect young women’s alcohol consumption.

Impact and interest:

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ID Code: 97859
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
Keywords: Alcohol, Social Marketing, Social Capital, Friendship Focus Groups, Moderate Drinking
DOI: 10.1108/JSOCM-06-2015-0035
ISSN: 2042-6763
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > COMMERCE MANAGEMENT TOURISM AND SERVICES (150000) > MARKETING (150500) > Marketing Communications (150502)
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > QUT Business School
Current > Schools > School of Advertising, Marketing & Public Relations
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2016 Emerald Group Publishing Ltd
Deposited On: 02 Aug 2016 22:49
Last Modified: 06 Aug 2016 16:19

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