Consumers’ identities and compartmentalisation tendencies in alcohol consumption

Diana Gregory-Smith, Danae Manika

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)
252 Downloads (Pure)


This longitudinal study explored how consumers justify their alcohol consumption by compartmentalising or integrating their various drinking identities (i.e., description of one’s drinking behaviours and extent to which these are part of person’s overall identity). 31 participants were interviewed twice. The findings revealed identities are continuously altered/created according to context and social interactions. Consumers’ movement between social fields generated different perceptions of what constitutes ‘healthy’ drinking, leading to displays of different identities. After interviewees compared their alcohol consumption perceptions with results from an online 14-day alcohol tracker, some consumers reported a ‘newly perceived’ drinking identity and displayed integration tendencies. Others denied their consumption results and continued to exhibit compartmentalised identities, justified by various social selves, roles and responsibilities. Social marketing and policy recommendations are discussed.
Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Marketing Management
Early online date12 Apr 2017
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 12 Apr 2017


  • integration
  • online alcohol tracker
  • alcohol consumption
  • compartmentalisation
  • drinking identity


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