Essay about Social And Cultural Aspects Of Drinking

Essay about Social And Cultural Aspects Of Drinking

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Binge drinking and alcoholism have been a long-time concern in American society. While the government and schools have made great efforts to tackle the alcohol problems by enacting laws and providing education, the situation of dysfunctional alcohol consumption hasn’t been sufficiently improved. In the essay “Drinking Games,” author Malcolm Gladwell proves to the readers that besides the biological attributes of a drinker, the culture that the drinker lives in also influences his or her drinking behaviors. By talking about cultural impact, he focuses on cultural customs of drinking reflected in drinking places. He specifically examines how changing the drinking places changes people’s drinking behaviors by presenting the alcohol myopia theory. While Gladwell mainly talks about cultural customs, the scholarly review “Social and Cultural Aspects of Drinking” published by SIRC states that drinking places also convey cultural beliefs of alcohol. which influence people’s drinking behaviors. Therefore, the influences of cultural beliefs should be examined to comprehensively understand how the culture a drinker lives in impacts drinking behaviors. In order to promote healthy drinking behaviors and reduce alcoholism, healthy drinking habits and cultural beliefs about alcohol must be considered.
Drinking places reflect cultural perceptions about alcohol which accounts for the fact people in different cultures prefer to drink in different drinking places. Researchers find that in regions like Britain, North America and Australia, “drinking-places are more likely to be enclosed, insular, even secretive environments, with solid walls and doors, frosted windows and substantial screens or partitions” (SIRC). The secrecy and exclusion of drinki...


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...also play an important role in promoting healthy drinking behaviors and reducing alcoholism. In his essay, Gladwell claims that in college frat parties, boys could be less noisy, aggressive and violent if the decorations, lights, and music of the parties are changed to a more peaceful style. However, we should recognize that it is sometimes hard to change people’s drinking customs without changing peoples’ beliefs about alcohol first. Hence, apart from these external changes of drinking places, these boys’ beliefs of the behavioral effects of alcohol should also be changed: alcohol is no longer the guide to a disinhibited world, it is just a normal constituent of life. And to achieve this change, the government should first reevaluate how today’s culture such as education and media portrays alcohol, and start a cultural revolution of alcohol from their observations.

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