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Smashed! The Many Meanings of Drunkenness and Intoxications - contents

Appendix A: Methodology

Approach and scope of the literature review

This book emerges from a literature review that has two distinct elements. In the first element we reviewed published academic literature from a variety of fields and for a specified time frame (more details below). In the second element we reviewed particular elements of the print news media in Australia, New Zealand, the UK, Europe and the US. We chose these areas because they are culturally similar yet, importantly, they also have distinct social contexts (more details below). In this section we provide detail of this review process, the manner in which it was conducted, a justification for this approach, and a discussion of its limits.

Search strategy

This review includes published material only. While we acknowledge that many unpublished reports and reviews would be relevant to our research question we have chosen to narrow the search results in this way. We have also not reviewed books. The limitation in terms of time and the prolific nature of studies in the broad field of alcohol use meant that we limited the search to published academic articles.

Databases were identified in the following disciplines (the figures show the number of databases identified). However there was overlap between disciplines, with some databases being repeated in different disciplines:

  • Anthropology (11)
  • Cultural studies (15)
  • History (9)
  • Linguistics (11)
  • Medicine, public health, ethics (16)
  • Philosophy (10)
  • Politics, law (13)
  • Psychology (13)
  • Sociology, criminology (26)

 

Discipline

Database

Anthropology

Academic Research Library

Anthropology Plus

British Humanities Index Expanded Academic Index

IBSS: International Bibliography of the Social Sciences

Libraries Australia – includes Australian Government

Public Anthropology

Sociological Abstracts

Periodicals Archive Online

Project MUSE – scholarly journals online

ProQuest Dissertations and Theses

 

Web of Science – Social Sciences Citation Index

Cultural Studies

Academic Research Library

Australian Public Affairs – full text

Blackwell Reference Online – includes 300 reference works

Brill Online

British Humanities Index

Communication & Mass Media Complete

Current Contents Connect

Expanded Academic Index

Family & Society Plus

IBSS: International Bibliography of the Social Sciences

International Encyclopedia of Marriage and Family

Libraries Australia – includes Australian Government

MAIS: Multicultural Australia and Immigration Studies

PAIS International

 

Sociological Abstracts

History

Academic Research Library

Arts & Humanities Citation Index

British Humanities Index

Current Contents Connect

Historical Abstracts

Libraries Australia – includes Australian Government
Periodicals archive online

Project MUSE – scholarly journals online

 

ProQuest Dissertations and Theses

Linguistics

Australian Public Affairs – full text

BHI: British Humanities Index

Blackwell Reference online

Communication & Mass Media Complete

ERIC

Expanded Academic ASAP

IBSS: International Bibliography of the Social Sciences

Informaworld: Journals

Linguistics and Language Behavior Abstracts

MLA International Bibliography

 

Periodicals Archive Online

Medicine/Public Health

AMED: Allied and Complementary Medicine

Australasian Medical Index (AMI)

BioMed Central

Cochrane Library:

Cochrane central register of controlled trials

Cochrane database of systematic reviews

Database of Abstracts of Reviews of Effects (DARE)

EBM Reviews

Encyclopedia of Drugs, Alcohol & Addictive Behaviour

H&S: Health & Society Database (Australian)

Faculty of 1000 Medicine

Libraries Australia – includes Australian Government

Meditext (Australian)

NDLTD – online US Theses

Ovid MEDLINE

ProQuest Health & Medical Complete

 

Scopus Web of Science

Philosophy

Academic Research Library

Arts & Humanities Citation Index

Australian Public Affairs – full text

BHI: British Humanities Index

Philosopher’s Index

Current Contents Connect

JSTOR: The scholarly journal archive

Libraries Australia–includes Australian Government Oxford
Scholarship Online: Philosophy

Periodicals Archive Online

 

Project MUSE – scholarly journals online

Politics/Law

Academic Research Library

Australian Public Affairs – full text

AGIS Plus Text (Australia)

British Humanities Index

CaseBase (Australia)

Expanded Academic Index

IBSS: International Bibliography of the Social Sciences

LAWLEX

LegalTrac

Libraries Australia – includes Australian Government Worldwide
Political Science Abstracts

Political Science: a SAGE full-text collection

 

Sociological Abstracts

Psychology

Academic Research Library

Expanded Academic ASAP

Cochrane Library:

Cochrane central register of controlled trials

Cochrane database of systematic reviews

Current Contents Connect

Database of Abstracts of Reviews of Effects (DARE)

DRUG: Drug Database

Libraries Australia – includes Australian Government

Ovid MEDLINE

PsycINFO

PsycBOOKS

Psychology: a SAGE full-text collection

 

Web of Science

Sociology/Criminology

Australian Databases

AEI: Australian Education Index

AFPD: Australian Federal Police Digest

AGIS Plus Text

Australian Bureau of Statistics

Australian Public Affairs – full text

CINCH: Australian Criminology Database

DRUG: Drug Database

Family & Society Plus

Informit e-library: Humanities & Social Sciences Collection

Libraries Australia – includes Australian Government Publications
and Theses

MAIS: Multicultural Australia and Immigration Studies

Overseas Databases

Academic Research Library

Blackwell Reference Online – includes 300 reference works
including the International Encyclopedia of Marriage and Family

British Humanities Index

Communication & Mass Media Complete

Contemporary Women’s Issues

Criminal Justice abstracts

Criminology: a SAGE full-text collection

The Gallup Organisation

IBSS: International Bibliography of the Social Sciences

Mass Observation Online

PAIS International

ProQuest Dissertations and Theses

Social Services Abstracts

Sociological Abstracts

Studies on Women and Gender Abstracts online

Web of Science – Social Sciences Citation Index

Multidisciplinary

Australian Databases

Australian Public Affairs – full text

Australian Bureau of Statistics

Libraries Australia – includes Australian Government Publications
and Theses

Informit e-library: Humanities & Social Sciences collection

Publications.gov.au – Government Publications

Overseas Databases

Academic Research Library

Blackwell Reference online – includes 300 reference works

Cambridge Journals online

Current Contents Connect

Expanded Academic Index

IBSS: International Bibliography of the Social Sciences

Informaworld: Journals

JSTOR: The scholarly journal archive

PAIS International

PAIS Archive (1915–1976)

Periodicals Archive Online

Project MUSE – scholarly journals online

ProQuest Dissertations and Theses

Scopus

Web of Science – citation indexes for all subjects

News sources

eLibrary Australasia (includes newspapers and radio transcripts

Factiva (overseas newspapers)

Newsbank Newspapers: Australia and the world

TVNews – All major news and current affairs television programs
(indexed)

Data Archives

CESSDA, Council of European Social Science Data Archives

Economic and Social Data Service (ESDS), UK social science research

Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research (ICPSR)

 

ASSDA – Australian Social Science Data Archive

 

Overall, 53 databases were searched. Sixteen were not available from the university at which the search was undertaken. 77 per cent of the librarians’ list was searched in the review. The databases not consulted included:

  1. DARE (which was covered by EBM reviews)
  2. Encyclopaedia of Drugs, Alcohol and Addictive Behaviour
  3. Faculty of 1000 Medicine
  4. NDLDT–online US theses
  5. British Humanities Index
  6. CaseBase
  7. IBSS: International Bibliography of the Social Sciences
  8. Arts & Humanities Citation Index
  9. Periodicals Archive Online
  10. Contemporary Women’s Issues
  11. Mass Observation Online
  12. PAIS International
  13. Studies on Women and Gender Abstracts Online
  14. International Encyclopaedia of Marriage and Family
  15. Anthropology Plus
  16. Public Anthropology

The most relevant and useful databases (number of articles used) were:

  1. Academic Research Library (20)
  2. Current Contents (18)
  3. Expanded Academic (15)
  4. AGIS (the Attorney–Generals Information Service) (9)
  5. Scopus (6)
  6. ProQuest (5)

Biomed Central, Cochrane Database, Ovid Medline and others were also valuable sources.

Although we consulted many journals in our search, some of the most common were:

  1. Contemporary Drug Problems
  2. Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs (formerly, Journal of Studies on Alcohol)
  3. American Journal of Epidemiology
  4. Addiction

The databases in each set were searched by using, firstly, the term ‘intoxicat*’ and, secondly, ‘drunkenness’. The search terms were paired with search options such as ‘all fields’, ‘citation and abstract’, ‘keywords’, or similar options, to achieve a high return rate; the full text search option was not used to ensure that the literature screened for relevancy had intoxication or drunkenness as a main theme. ‘Intoxic*’ and its variants were considered but if ‘intoxic*’ or drunkenness were not present in the article it was usually rejected. For example, a study on the social context of drinking norms and heavy drinking (Wild 2002) defined heavy drinking specifically as five or more drinks at least once a week or more, yet the study did not specifically address intoxication or drunkenness, and therefore it was left out of this review.

In cases where the search produced hundreds or thousands of returns the search was refined. The first step involved adding “defin*” (‘definition’, with the possibility of ‘define’, ‘defining’ etc.) to the search terms. The second step in refining a search was to search intoxication and drunkenness in combination with ‘understand*’ (to enable ‘understanding’).

The searches were limited by the time frame 1 January 2000 to 15 January 2009 and, where possible, to papers which had been peer-reviewed. The lists of articles and reports answering the search terms in each database were examined, initially, by title. If the title suggested an item to be relevant to the literature review, the abstract, if available, (or an executive summary in the case of a report), was read; a document was selected if the abstract included any of the following:

  • a description of the instruments used to measure alcohol intoxication or drunkenness;
  • an explanation of a research design to obtain people’s understandings of intoxication or drunkenness;
  • thematic content such as ethnicity, race, gender, age, culture or class in relation to intoxication or drunkenness.

In cases where the sought information was not contained in the abstract, but there was good reason to believe that the article or report was nonetheless relevant, the full text was examined and paragraphs or pages of interest were noted. This process of selection produced a new, shorter list.

Full text versions of selected literature were downloaded for future reference and details of each entered into Endnote. The program was used to record additional information of interest:

  • The ‘Label’ field was used to indicate (a) the discipline a paper/report belonged to and (b) whether a document represented an expert view of drinking or the view of a population group.
  • The ‘Keyword’ field was used to indicate (a) whether a paper/report had and Australian or an international focus, (b) whether it contained a definition or ‘understanding’ and (c) any thematic content.

The age of drinkers of alcohol was a point of major interest and, in response, the keywords ‘school student’ or ‘university student’ were noted as a refinement of the ‘age’ theme.

We include a Further Reading section (Appendix B) which includes articles that are referenced in the sources we review, but are not specifically reviewed by us and which we deem particularly useful. We also include references that were found in our search but not included in the analysis in the review

As explained, we began by simply searching for our keywords: ‘intoxication’ and ‘drunkenness’ however, we found that meanings change through time. For instance, in the last few years the term ‘binge’ has grown in importance in this area. As we explain in the review, the definition of a binge is itself contested and may imply intoxication and/or drunkenness, but the relationship between these terms is only implied, not explicitly defined. Therefore, an article about binge drinking but not explicitly referring to intoxication and drunkenness was considered peripheral and therefore not included in the review.

Print news media

Our review of the print news media draws primarily on a review of a number of key, mass circulation newspapers in the US, the UK, Australia and New Zealand. Our reasons for these limits are largely pragmatic, and determined by the fact that the print media presents a readily accessible archive in relation to these concerns. In addition, in these media spaces we are able to identify a number of concerns that we examined in greater detail in the review of the academic literature. This review of the print news media also sheds some light on the differing cultural and symbolic dimensions of the meanings and understandings associated with intoxication and drunkenness.

This review has been drawn from a pool of 928 articles drawn from the following newspapers:

 

Australia

New Zealand

United States

United Kingdom

The Age

New Zealand Herald

The New York Times

The Guardian

The Australian

Otago Daily Times

The Wall Street Journal

The Times

The Herald Sun

The Washington Post

The Sydney Morning Herald

 

Search strategy

This media literature review is focused on newspapers from Australia, New Zealand, the US, and the UK. These newspapers were selected on the basis of three criteria: (a) their large readership; (b) their international renown; and (c) to achieve a balance between broadsheet and tabloid commentary.

The Factiva database was used to search specific newspapers. When given a choice to search the print version, online version, or print and online versions of a newspaper, only the print version was searched since that was the only option that was common to all the newspapers. For each newspaper, the database was searched on a year-by-year basis, starting from 1 January 2000 and running to 15 January 2009. ‘Intoxication’ and ‘drunkenness’ were searched separately as keywords for each newspaper and searches were limited to articles of at least 1000 words (or more than 999 words) with the “wc>999” keyword. This criterion was included to limit the results to more substantial commentary.

The articles returned from these searches only indicated that they included the word ‘intoxication’ or ‘drunkenness’ somewhere in the article. As a result the articles were reviewed to identify those which were specifically related to drinking, as opposed to those which merely mentioned intoxication or drunkenness in passing, or in a different context. The 928 articles that were deemed relevant for this review were then sorted according to the orientation that the article took in relation to intoxication and drunkenness.

The sources and references that we have cited in this review were deemed to be directly related to issues of intoxication or drunkenness, and which provided insight into the definitions and understandings of these terms and states in this public arena. The Factiva database provides versions of the articles unpaginated, so for the purposes of this literature review we have cited the references without specific page numbers. Information provided in the citations at the end of this review will be sufficient to lead the reader to the source.

Cite this chapter as: Kelly, Peter; Advocat, Jenny; Harrison, Lyn; Hickey, Chris. 2011. ‘Appendix A: Methodology’, in Smashed! The Many Meanings of Intoxication and Drunkenness. Melbourne: Monash University Publishing. pp. 185–194.

Smashed! The Many Meanings of Drunkenness and Intoxications - contents

   by Peter Kelly, Jenny Advocat, Lyn Harrison, Christopher Hickey