Alcohol consumption is often linked to a broad range of social and health problems, yet alcohol also plays a fundamental role in social bonding between people. This paper considers the potential of social marketing to contribute to alcohol consumption reduction and reframe social norms that encourage 'problem' drinking. Based on qualitative research with a variety of Scottish drinkers, the paper emphasises how and why a better understanding of the culturally bound meanings of alcohol (e.g. social identity, self-concept) are of crucial importance to inform any social marketing approach to reframing excessive drinking
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