British academic Daniel Briggs has released a new book, Deviance and Risk on Holiday: An Ethnography of British Tourists in Ibiza, which details the exploits and hedonistic adventures of working-class British tourists on the Spanish island of Ibiza.
Ibiza is known worldwide as a party destination, with clubs running every hour of the day, as well as overindulgence of alcohol and drugs. Recent stories of girls being abducted and forced into being drug mules have begun to get people's attention, but that hasn't stopped thousands upon thousands of young people from traveling to the island for a vacation of excess.
The book seeks to explore what makes these people make the choices that lead to such things as staying awake for three days on ketamine. He spoke to Spin about what he had learned during his research.
He explains the difficulty of interviewing certain people:
"I asked myself, how can you really determine how accurate such a picture of reality is, when you're asking people in hindsight how much they've drunk? Or how many drugs they've taken? These days just blur into one whole experience. It's a 24/7 or even 36- or 40-hour party. There's no real stop for some people. Some people go there for three days and they just have a passport in the back of their pocket and a handful of Euros, and they just throw money at it."
He also spoke about the youth culture of "seize the moment" has overtaken Britain and America and is being shown on reality programs and the internet and is leading people to do things that seem extreme to most people:
Having sex with prostitutes, basically asking lapdancers to piss and shit on them, shitting off balconies, shitting into bottles and mixing it with water and throwing it at each other, jumping off balconies. Basically, very extreme drug-taking to the point where… I'll give you an example. I spent a day with guys drinking 15 pints of beer, and then they went on to cocaine, then they took three Es overnight, then they came back and were taking ketamine, drinking spirits — that's in less than 24 hours! They were doing that for two weeks, pretty much solid.
If one answer of his seems to sum up the feelings of the partiers, it would probably be this:
"I'll give you one example of these young women I interviewed five hours after they were beaten up by bouncers at Pacha. They were beaten, they were arrested, they showed me their cuts and their bruises. And I asked them, "How do you feel about this?" They started laughing, because they knew that this would be a legendary story that would go down in history. One of them, when she was in the police car, said, "I've already thought of my Facebook status: 'Already been arrested and molested in Ibiza."
He also talks a about other subjects, such as the effect of all of this type of tourism on the locals, the government's economic dependence on it, the police force's allowance of most drug dealing for the sake of the party economy, and other subjects.
Be sure to read the entire interview on Spin.