Drunken Comportment: A Social Explanation (Foundations of Anthropology)

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ISBN-13: 978-0971958760
ISBN-10: 0971958769
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Drunken Comportment: A Social Explanation (Foundations of Anthropology) + Anthropology of Addictions and Recovery + Addiction Trajectories (Experimental Futures)
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Editorial Reviews

Review

"A [h]appy blending of good psychology and anthropology." -- Nancy Oestreich Lurie, American Anthropologist

"[A]rguably the best-recognized conceptual contribution from the ethnographic literature to alcohol studies in general." -- Robin Room, Social Science and Medicine

"[P]robably the most original contribution ever to come from anthropological research on alcohol." -- John J. Honigmann, Social Forces

About the Author

Craig MacAndrew, University of California, Irvine, Irvine, California Robert B. Edgerton, University of California, Los Angeles, Los Angeles, California Dwight B. Heath, Brown University, Providence, Rhode Island (new foreword)
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Product Details

  • Series: Foundations of Anthropology
  • Paperback: 214 pages
  • Publisher: Eliot Werner Publications (December 31, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0971958769
  • ISBN-13: 978-0971958760
  • Product Dimensions: 0.5 x 5.5 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,709,510 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By cxlxmx on April 14, 2012
Format: Paperback
In this book originally published in, I believe, the 1970s and re-issued in 2003, the authors take issue with what was then and still seems to be the widely held assumption that the behavioral effects of alcohol are due to disinhibiting of alcohol on the brain. In place of that model, they propose that behavior when drunk is learned and socially conditioned. Much of the book contains examples from around the world of cultures in which the behavior of people when drunk does not conform to our expectations of drunkenness. The book concludes with an examination of Native American alcohol abuse tries to put that in a cultural-historical context as against the widely held notion that "Indians can't hold their liquor."

While there is definitely some truth in the book, it is not a thorough success. Their cultural examinations are both interesting and informative. To give an example that does not appear in the book, the Japanese now or in the recent past had a habit of going drinking with their boss after work. During these drinking bouts, people were allowed to say things to one another that would not be acceptable in a state of sobriety. This is what the authors call a "time-out," and is the purpose they say alcohol serves in most cultures. This part of the book is very believable. There is no doubt that alcohol can serve as a "time-out."

However, the authors are also transparently at the task of blaming the conditions of Native American alcohol use on Europeans and European culture. If NA are universally violent while drunk, it is because they learned that this is how drunk people act from being around fur traders, frontier soldiers, etc. This is a thin argument.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Makes a clear and compelling case for looking at the direct effects of alcohol in a way which explodes many of the myths surrounding our understanding of alcohol problems.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful By pamela mccoll on December 16, 2013
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This book will change the way you think about addiction and alcohol. Very very interesting connection to the role of
social context and perceptions.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Hans Olav Fekjær on November 28, 2013
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This famous book will change the ideas about alcohol and inhibition among all readers. The main content deserves to be referred in mass media.
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