Problematizing alcohol through the eyes of the other: Alcohol policy and Aboriginal drinking in the Northern Territory, Australia

Peter D'Abbs

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    Abstract

    This article traces the evolution of alcohol policy in the Northern Territory, Australia, over the past half century, from the removal of prohibition on the possession and consumption of alcohol by Aboriginal people, to the emergence of spatially-defined restrictions which, while not overtly referring to Aborigines, are designed primarily to contain consumption in public by Aboriginal drinkers. Aboriginal alcohol-related problems, which are serious and broad-ranging, continue to be defined for policy purposes primarily by non-Aboriginal people in terms of public drunkenness and perceived threats to urban amenity. Meanwhile, a non-Aboriginal, heavy-drinking culture is positively sanctioned discursively through the social construction of “the Territorian.” The article argues that discourse and policies combine to perpetuate Aboriginal marginality with respect to urban spaces, and to deny a voice to Aboriginal people and organizations in defining alcohol-related problems and identifying solutions.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)371-396
    Number of pages26
    JournalContemporary Drug Problems
    Volume39
    Issue number3
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Sep 2012

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