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  • Managing Dramaturgical Dilemmas

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Managing dramaturgical dilemmas: youth drinking and multiple identities

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal article

Published
<mark>Journal publication date</mark>14/05/2018
<mark>Journal</mark>European Journal of Marketing
Issue number5-6
Volume52
Number of pages24
Pages (from-to)1305-1328
<mark>State</mark>Published
Early online date8/03/18
<mark>Original language</mark>English

Abstract

Purpose
This paper aims to understand how young people manage the dramaturgical dilemmas related to drinking alcohol and performing multiple identities.

Design/methodology/approach
Drawing on qualitative data collected with 16-18-year olds, the authors adopt Goffman’s dramaturgical perspective to examine youth alcohol consumption in relation to multiple identities.

Findings
Young people continuously and skilfully juggle multiple identities across multiple contexts, where identities overflow and audiences and interactions overlap. Techniques of audience segregation, mystification and misrepresentation and justification are used to perform and manage multiple identities in a risky health behaviour context.

Research limitations/implications
The approach may facilitate some over- and under-claiming. Future studies could observe young people’s performances of self across multiple contexts, paying particular attention to how alcohol features in these performances.

Practical implications
Social marketing campaigns should demonstrate an understanding of how alcohol relates to the contexts of youth lives beyond the “night out” and engage more directly with young peoples’ navigation between different identities, contexts and audiences. Campaigns could tap into the secretive nature of youth alcohol consumption and discourage youth from prioritising audience segregation and mystification above their own safety.

Originality/value
Extant work has argued that consumers find multiplicity unmanageable or manage multiple identities through internal dialogue. Instead, this paper demonstrates how young people manage multiple identities through interaction and performance. This study challenges the neat compartmentalisation of identities identified in prior literature and Goffman’s clear-cut division of performances into front and back stage.

Bibliographic note

This article is (c)2018 Emerald Group Publishing and permission has been granted for this version to appear here (URL of the record on the Pure Portal). Emerald does not grant permission for this article to be further copied/distributed or hosted elsewhere without the express permission from Emerald Group Publishing Limited.