727.3 Deconstructing deviance and risk abroad: Ethnographic encounters with British holidaymakers

Saturday, August 4, 2012: 1:00 PM
Faculty of Economics, TBA
Oral Presentation
Daniel BRIGGS , School of Law and Social Sciences, Senior Lecturer in Criminology and Criminal Justice, London, United Kingdom

British youth have a notorious reputation for binge drinking, drug use, sex, violence, self injury and risk behaviours within most major European holiday resorts. Consequently, there is much concern about their social activities abroad - especially in the Balearics. While research has documented these behaviours among British youth on these islands, it has tended to rely on survey data and offered little understanding of why these behaviours might take place. This is the principle aim of my paper. My research aims were to examine risk behaviours among British youth abroad and investigate the reasons which underpin these attitudes. The paper is based on findings from ethnographic research with British youth in San Antonio, Ibiza over the course of 2010 and 2011. The data suggests that British youth engage in these behaviours because they are exciting; to escape the constraints of work and family in the UK; and because these behaviours are integral to the construction of their life biographies and identities. The data also indicates that these behaviours are aggressively and commercially endorsed by various aspects of the social context of Ibiza.