Cultural history of alcohol essay

In this context, it is essential for those concerned with policy and legislation on alcohol to have a clear understanding of the sociocultural functions and meanings of drinking. This section outlines the principal conclusions that can be drawn from the available cross-cultural material regarding the symbolic uses of alcoholic beverages, the social functions of drinking-places and the roles of alcohol in transitional and celebratory rituals. Symbolic roles From the ethnographic material available, it is clear that in all cultures where more than one type of alcoholic beverage is available, drinks are classified in terms of their social meaning, and the classification of drinks is used to define the social world.

Cultural history of alcohol essay

Social and Cultural Aspects of Drinking Key findings One of the Cultural history of alcohol essay facing those concerned with the development of policies and legislation on alcohol issues is the sheer volume of research and publications on this subject. In addition, these works span a variety of disciplines, and are often couched in academic jargon which may be incomprehensible to non-specialists.

In this section, we therefore provide a brief, bullet-point summary of the key findings and significant generalisations that can be drawn from our survey of the literature on social and cultural aspects of alcohol.

History Alcohol has played a central role in almost all human cultures since Neolithic times about BC. All societies, without exception, make use of intoxicating substances, alcohol being by far the most common. There is convincing evidence that the development of agriculture - regarded as the foundation of civilisation - was based on the cultivation of grain for beer, as much as for bread.

The persistence of alcohol use, on a near-universal scale, throughout human evolution, suggests that drinking must have had some significant adaptive benefits, although this does not imply that the practice is invariably beneficial.

From the earliest recorded use of alcohol, drinking has been a social activity, and both consumption and behaviour have been subject to self-imposed social controls.

The History of Alcohol Essays - Drinking Culture, Free Essays

Attempts at prohibition have never been successful except when couched in terms of sacred rules in highly religious cultures. Behavioural effects There is enormous cross-cultural variation in the way people behave when they drink.

In some societies such as the UK, Scandinavia, US and Australiaalcohol is associated with violent and anti-social behaviour, while in others such as Mediterranean and some South American cultures drinking behaviour is largely peaceful and harmonious. This variation cannot be attributed to different levels of consumption or genetic differences, but is clearly related to different cultural beliefs about alcohol, expectancies regarding the effects of alcohol and social norms regarding drunken comportment.

The findings of both cross-cultural research and controlled experiments indicate that the effects of alcohol on behaviour are primarily determined by social and cultural factors, rather than the chemical actions of ethanol.

The prevalence of alcohol-related problems is not directly related to average per capita consumption: Alcohol-related problems are associated with specific cultural factors, relating to beliefs, attitudes, norms and expectancies about drinking.

The beliefs and expectancies of a given culture can change. Although some cultures experience more alcohol-related problems than others, moderate, unproblematic drinking is the norm in most cultures, while both excessive drinking and abstention are abnormal behaviours.

Cultural history of alcohol essay

Rules and regulation In all cultures, drinking is a rule-governed activity, hedged about with self-imposed norms and regulations concerning who may drink how much of what, when, how, in what contexts, with what effects, etc.

Proscription of solitary drinking 2.

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Prescription of sociability 3. Social control of consumption and behaviour 4. The literature to date offers no satisfactory explanation for the near-universality of restrictions on female drinking, as all researchers have attempted to explain this in purely cultural terms.

We suggest that the prevalence of such restrictions may be due to non-cultural factors such as differences in male and female physiology resulting in more pronounced effects of alcohol on females. Symbolic functions In all societies, alcoholic beverages are used as powerful and versatile symbolic tools, to construct and manipulate the social world.

Cultural history of alcohol essay

As labels defining the nature of social situations or events 2. As indicators of social status 3. As statements of affiliation 4. This has nothing to do with any intrinsic properties of the beverages themselves - beer, for example, may be associated with disorderly behaviour in some cultures or sub-cultures and with benign sociability in others.

Some societies appear less susceptible to the cultural influence of alien beverages than others. This may in part reflect the generally higher social status of those adopting wine-drinking.

Drinking-places Drinking is, in all cultures, essentially a social activity, and most societies have specific, designated environments for communal drinking. Cross-cultural differences in the physical nature of public drinking-places reflect different attitudes towards alcohol.

Social and Cultural Aspects of Drinking

In all cultures, the drinking-place is a special environment, a separate social world with its own customs and values 2.

Drinking-places tend to be socially integrative, egalitarian environments 3.

Alcoholism Research Paper | torosgazete.com Blog Social and Cultural Aspects of Drinking The origins of alcoholic beverages Alcoholic beverages have been used by virtually all cultures through most of their recorded history. When practices such as these appear to have a near-universal quality, despite the fact that in some cases they may have some apparently negative consequences, we are obliged to consider their potential for positive, culturally adaptive mechanisms.

The primary function of drinking-places is the facilitation of social bonding. Transitional rituals In all societies, alcohol plays a central role in transitional rituals - both major life-cycle events and minor, everyday transitions.

Social and Cultural Aspects of Drinking - Introduction

In terms of everyday transitions, cultures such as the US and UK in which alcohol is only used to mark the transition from work to play - where drinking is associated with recreation and irresponsibility, and regarded as antithetical to working - tend to have higher levels of alcohol-related problems.

Cultures in which drinking is an integral part of the normal working day, and alcohol may be used to mark the transition to work e.

France, Spain, Perutend to have lower levels of alcohol-related problems. Shifts away from traditional pre-work or lunchtime drinking in these cultures could be a cause for concern, as these changes can indicate a trend towards drinking patterns and attitudes associated with higher levels of alcohol-related problems.

Festive rituals Alcohol is universally associated with celebration, and drinking is, in all cultures, an essential element of festivity. In societies in which alcohol is a morally neutral element of normal life such as Italy, Spain and Francealcohol is strongly associated with celebration, but celebration is not invoked as a justification for every drinking occasion.The individual's personal history, as well as the ethnic/cultural group's history, have an Problems related to alcohol use: A cross-cultural perspective.

The History of Alcohol Bradford Wright 9/5/03 Alcohol, which has an interesting and far-reaching history, has been discovered, used and prohibited throughout the ages. Social and Cultural Aspects of Drinking The origins of alcoholic beverages. Alcoholic beverages have been used by virtually all cultures through most of their recorded history.

Cultural History of Alcohol Essay - Alcohol has been the lifeblood of civilization dating thousands of years back in time, and it is clear to see the culture impact it has made throughout history. People perceive alcohol in many different ways; depending on gender, age, religious background, or social upbringing.

Alcohol essays Alcohol Alcohol is one of the most used and misused drugs known to man. One reason alcohol is misused is because it is accepted in society.

People drink to be sociable. Many restaurants offer some form of alcohol on their menus. Alcohol and Drinking History in the United States of America: A Chronology. This chronology or timeline presents events in the history of alcohol and drinking in what is now the U.S.

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