Deviance and risk on holiday: an ethnography with British youth abroad

Briggs, Daniel (2012) ‘Deviance and risk on holiday: an ethnography with British youth abroad’, in Winslow, S. and Atkinson, R. (eds.) New directions in crime and deviance. London: Routledge.

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Abstract

In the Spanish Balearic Islands, young British tourists have a notorious reputation for engaging in higher levels of alcohol consumption, drug use, and sex. While some research has documented the extent of these behaviours among British youth on these islands, it has tended to rely on survey data and has therefore failed to offer a realistic framework for how and why they occur. Using a phenomenological perspective, the aim of this chapter is to account for the ways in which deviance and risk arise by considering the subjective intentions of British youth, group dynamics, the holiday occasion and the aggressive commodification of the night time economy (NTE). The chapter draws on findings taken from an ethnographic study of British youth in San Antonio, Ibiza, over the summers of 2009, 2010 and 2011. I argue that the fundamental reason why British youth engage in these behaviours because they are judged to be exciting; to escape the constraints of work, routine and family in the UK; and because these behaviours are integral to the construction of their biographies and identities. They are also endorsed and reaffirmed by group dynamics which support an ‘anything goes’ attitude in generally unregulated environments but are further shaped by various features of the social context of San Antonio which is strategically designed for consumer spending. The social context of San Antonio’s drinking strips marries perfectly with issues relating to self and group identities that stress the need for a ‘blow out’, and this synthesis results in high levels of deviance and risk-taking.

Item Type: Book Section
Additional Information: Citation: Briggs, D. (2012) ‘Deviance and risk on holiday: an ethnography with British youth abroad’ in Winslow, S. and Atkinson, R. (eds.) New directions in crime and deviance. London: Routledge, 2012.
Divisions: Schools > Law and Social Sciences, School of
Depositing User: Mr Stephen Grace
Date Deposited: 22 Jun 2012 14:15
Last Modified: 27 Sep 2012 12:00
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10552/1625

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