University of Cambridge > > CRASSH > Counting the Cost of Drink in Britain, 1830-1918

Counting the Cost of Drink in Britain, 1830-1918

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In debates about alcohol in Britain competing ideologies have shaped how people have read the evidence available to them and indeed how they have gone about collecting such evidence. This conference examines the construction and use of such evidence in the control of drinking and drunkenness, taking as its parameters the nineteenth-century and the regulations of World War One.

Scholars working across the social sciences and humanities are invited to address the connection between assessments of the cost of drink – however defined – and attempts to shape policy at local or national scales. By so doing, the conference will offer an important opportunity to consider the evidence base that has informed policy development on the drink question. But it also aims to further our understanding of what counted as evidence and whose evidence could be counted. Examples might include medical analyses, police statistics, brewery and taxation records, insurance calculations, and various religious and moral assessments that attempted to document the social costs of drinking and drunkenness.

Interrogating how these costs were counted will help us understand the trajectory of past regulation as well as holding out the potential for better historically-informed policy debates in the present.

This talk is part of the CRASSH series.

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