Individual-environment transactions and subjectivity: reflections on an alternative approach to behaviour change

Kimberley M Hill, Michael Pilling, David R Foxcroft

Research output: Contribution to ConferencePaper

Abstract

Prevention approaches for alcohol misuse typically specify intentions as an important antecedent of behaviour, but intentions are often poor predictors of behaviour. An Ecological approach understands behaviour as it emerges from individual-environment transactions. Meaning exists in the interdependence of an individual and their environment, in terms of affordances. As affordances are relational, subjectivity is no longer characterised by hidden representations, but can be used as a window onto drinking behaviour as it emerges from the relationship between individuals and their environment. An initial non-participant observational study within seven UK licensed premises highlighted affordances for promoting or inhibiting the amount and rate of consumption by patrons, from the subjective perspective of an independent observer. A second photo-elicitation interview study used phenomenology to uncover the individual subjectivity which exists between twelve young adult drinkers and their drinking environments. These findings provided a varied concourse of alcohol-related affordances for a third Q-methodology study, which focused on group subjectivities. Forty university students aged 18-33 ranked sixty statements along a symmetrical grid, based on their perceptions of their drinking behaviours and drinking environments. Factor analysis and post-sort interviews uncovered four factors: conscious and compliant; aware and autonomous; unaware and unanimous; canonical and concerned. These reflected functional differences in the subjective perspectives that are held by groups of individuals. This research illustrated how subjectivity can be used as a tool to investigate consumption in context, by tapping into complex individual-environment transactions. As an alternative conceptual approach for understanding drinking behaviour, these findings have implications for prevention, policy and for future research.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 15 Sep 2015
EventThe University of Northampton Research Staff Conference - The University of Northampton
Duration: 15 Sep 2015 → …

Conference

ConferenceThe University of Northampton Research Staff Conference
Period15/09/15 → …

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subjectivity
transaction
alcohol
phenomenology
interview
interdependence
young adult
factor analysis
Group
university
methodology
student

Cite this

Hill, K. M., Pilling, M., & Foxcroft, D. R. (2015). Individual-environment transactions and subjectivity: reflections on an alternative approach to behaviour change. Paper presented at The University of Northampton Research Staff Conference, .
Hill, Kimberley M ; Pilling, Michael ; Foxcroft, David R. / Individual-environment transactions and subjectivity: reflections on an alternative approach to behaviour change. Paper presented at The University of Northampton Research Staff Conference, .
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Hill, KM, Pilling, M & Foxcroft, DR 2015, 'Individual-environment transactions and subjectivity: reflections on an alternative approach to behaviour change', Paper presented at The University of Northampton Research Staff Conference, 15/09/15.

Individual-environment transactions and subjectivity: reflections on an alternative approach to behaviour change. / Hill, Kimberley M; Pilling, Michael; Foxcroft, David R.

2015. Paper presented at The University of Northampton Research Staff Conference, .

Research output: Contribution to ConferencePaper

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Hill KM, Pilling M, Foxcroft DR. Individual-environment transactions and subjectivity: reflections on an alternative approach to behaviour change. 2015. Paper presented at The University of Northampton Research Staff Conference, .