It is often found that peer groups heavily influence the alcohol culture surrounding young people, where experience with alcohol can be seen as an important prerequisite for their inclusion, if not initiation into their social circle. Therefore, an understanding of the importance of the peer group should be implemented in alcohol campaigns targeted at young people. The approach of this thesis is social constructivism, and the thesis addresses the problem statement: How can an understanding of the importance of the peer group regarding alcohol culture of young people be incorporated in an alcohol campaign targeted at young people? The thesis answers the problem statement through a case study of three alcohol campaigns, all incorporating the importance of the peer group in different ways. The thesis is divided into three dominant theoretical perspectives: The target group, the social structures of the peer group and communicative aspects. The first theoretical perspective, the target group consists mainly of theory from two sociological studies about young people’s alcohol culture from the age of 15 to 19 years. To investigate the social structures of the peer group, the sociologist Pierre Bourdieu’s theory of capital, habitus, field and doxa are being used. This theory contributes to the understanding of how young people interact in different fields, and how they position themselves within their group of peers. Combined with knowledge about the target group, this theory is used to analyze how the campaigns of the case study portray the alcohol culture among the young people. The communicative aspect of the thesis contains theory based on the following perspectives: Sender, communicator, opinion leaders, credibility, empowerment, relevance and scare campaigns. The analysis of the three campaigns is conducted based on the findings from the three theoretical perspectives. The main finding of this thesis is that an understanding of the role of the peer group regarding alcohol culture amongst young people can be incorporated in both the design and the content of alcohol campaigns targeted at these youths. In order to incorporate this understanding in the design, one should focus on empowering the young people, suggesting that they should be involved in the creation of the campaign. Regarding the content, one should incorporate this understanding of the peer group by communicating the positive effects that reducing the intake of alcohol could result in, not just for each individual, but for the peer group as a whole. Furthermore, the campaign should not include restrictions regarding alcohol consumption, as the purpose of the campaign is to empower youths rather than lecture them.
|Educations||Communication Studies, (Bachelor/Graduate Programme) Graduate|
|Publication date||31 Aug 2012|