Navigating the drinking self: A qualitative study of beer consumption among the working-poor in Botswana

Tebogo B. Sebeelo, Linda L. Belgrave

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Alcohol consumption studies in sub-Saharan Africa have largely focused on social control and regulatory mechanisms in specific settings without particular reference to how drinkers negotiate and navigate their drinking selves. Existing studies do not give enough attention to how consumers enact, make sense and experience drinking in light of state regulatory efforts. Using a constructivist grounded theory approach among twenty (20) beer drinkers, this study identifies how beer drinkers in Botswana experienced alcohol. Our findings demonstrate a theoretical category of Negotiating the Drinking Self where beer drinkers constructed and enacted a drinking self throughout the life-course, from the point of exposure at home through adolescence and up to maturity. The drinking self-constitutes an important part of the drinker's identity and adapts to each stage of the life-course. Among the working poor in Botswana, beer drinking is complex, situated and embedded in webs of patterned social interactions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)186-203
Number of pages18
JournalQualitative Report
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2021


  • Beer consumption
  • Botswana
  • Drinking self
  • Grounded theory
  • Meanings

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Cultural Studies
  • Education


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