Swimming with Crocodiles: The Culture of Extreme Drinking (2008)

Edited by Marjana Martinic and Fiona Measham, this volume examines the apparent increase in heavy drinking behavior by some young people, described in a number of countries, positioning it within its appropriate social, historical, and cultural contexts. The book argues in favor of a new term—“extreme drinking”—to fully encapsulate the many facets of this behavior, taking into account the underlying motivations for the heavy, excessive, and unrestrained drinking patterns among young people. The centerpiece of the book is a series of focus groups conducted with young people of legal drinking age in Brazil, China, Italy, Nigeria, Russia, South Africa, and the United Kingdom, which examine their views on extreme drinking, motivations behind it, and the cultural similarities and differences that exist, conferring at once risk and protective factors. The authors explore the developmental, cultural and historical contexts that have surrounded this behavior, and offer a new approach to addressing it through prevention and policy.