Where did Temporary Sobriety Initiatives (TSIs) such as Dry January, FebFast and Ocsober, come from? And what is their role, if any, in prompting people to revisit their relationship with alcohol? These organized campaigns have flourished throughout the English-speaking world in the past decade. Collectively, they involve thousands of participants and raise substantial sums of money for medical research, as well as drug and alcohol related charities. Alcohol, Binge Sobriety and Exemplary Abstinence considers these campaigns as part of a lifestyle movement that transcends single events and even singular national contexts. It uses case studies from Australia, the USA and the UK to examine both the short history of TSIs as a response to problematic localized drinking cultures – including binge drinking – and their relationship to a much longer and transnational history of temperance activism. In taking TSIs as a case study of both embodied philanthropy and participatory health promotion, this book considers how TSIs are structured, promoted and experienced as an embodied event to create imitable, and sometimes contradictory, examples to create a public pedagogy of ‘responsible drinking’.
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