International Handbook on Alcohol and Culture

International Handbook on Alcohol and Culture

International Handbook on Alcohol and Culture

International Handbook on Alcohol and Culture


The first authoritative guide to how the world drinks, this reference details alcohol use in different countries and cultures. Each chapter, written by an expert contributor, shows how drinking relates to religion, custom, age, gender, class, economics, social policy, and other factors. The result is a multicultural guide to beliefs, practices, and attitudes about alcohol around the world.


Over the years it has been one of my preoccupations to try to keep abreast of the rapidly expanding literature that deals with alcohol in cultural context, cross- culturally throughout the world, and throughout human history. As an anthropologist, I revel in unusual tidbits of information and instances where general propositions are contradicted by local realities. Also as an anthropologist, I am intrigued by the recurrence of some phenomena across widely divergent ways of life and the universality of a few features in the human experience. Furthermore, it is striking to see the many different ways in which people use, think about, and react to what at first appears to be a simple chemical compound.

Recently it has become evident that a number of colleagues in fields other than anthropology are interested in how various peoples deal with alcohol, and for a great variety of reasons. Often their data and insights are phrased in terms of nation-states rather than of local populations. The idea behind this book is to merge these levels of awareness and concern, trying to understand what various peoples in the complex world around us believe and how they behave with respect to alcohol.

Like almost every book, this one grew slowly as an idea for some time before the actual compilation and writing began. It was Clyde Kluckhohn at Harvard who stimulated my original interest in culture, and my academic interest in alcohol sprang from a chance meeting with E. M. Jellinek and Mark Keller at Yale. They all encouraged me to write, from the earliest stages of my professional career, and David J. Pittman and Charles R. Snyder served as friendly mentors and good examples.

Although much of my early scholarly effort was devoted to understanding land reform and social revolution in Latin America, and other historical, economic, and political phenomena there and elsewhere, the idea of alcohol as a . . .

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed


An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.