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The Mendès France Milk Regime

Alcoholism as a Problem of Agricultural Subsidies, 1954–1955

Joseph Bohling

In 1954, Pierre Mendès France committed the state to curbing alcoholism as part of an effort to reorient important agricultural sectors and improve French economic performance, using milk as a symbol of his government's new direction. While Mendès France's milk drinking was often portrayed as the whim of a maverick politician, this article shows instead that it was the expression of a broadly based movement to modernize the economy. Challenging the view of an insular state that exclusively served the powerful alcohol lobbies, this article contends that the success of alcohol reform hinged on Mendès France's ability to overcome parliament and pit other economic sectors and a public health movement against those lobbies. Although it would require the more centralized authority of the Fifth Republic to implement lasting reforms to the alcohol sector, the Mendès France government helped raise public awareness about the purported link between alcoholism and agricultural subsidies that kept uncompetitive producers on the land at the taxpayer's expense.

Open access

Making Uncommon Sense of Laudable Research

Simone Dennis and Andrew Dawson

Anthropologists often work with industry parties. But which industry players should we strike agreements with, and which should we avoid? Alcohol players, for instance, might be thought of as ‘bad’ players with invariably sinister motives – they

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Conservation-Induced Resettlement

The Case of the Baka of Southeast Cameroon—A Variation on the Habitual Mobility–Immobility Nexus

Harrison Esam Awuh

Drinking alcohol is a social act performed in social contexts, 48 and despite inconsistencies between different scholars, alcohol consumption has been proven to register positive effects on drinkers. First, alcohol has been known to improve positive moods

Open access

Valued Volatility

Inhabiting Uncertain Flux in the Mackenzie Delta, Canada

Franz Krause

usually related to drinking. While some consider drinking a waste of money and opportunity with many negative effects, including domestic violence, others insist on their right to have a good time. Alcohol and substance abuse are closely related to

Free access

Responsibility and Authority in Drinking

Arctic Workshop at the University of Tartu, Estonia (30–31 May 2014)

Aimar Ventsel

This 2014 workshop was the fifth Arctic workshop held at the University of Tartu and the second dedicated to alcohol. In retrospect, both workshops were fruitful but differed in scope. The main difference between the first workshop in 2013 and second was that the first focused primarily on the social and cultural meaning of alcohol in the Arctic and the second broadened its geography. In the latter, we included papers presenting research results from outside the Arctic region. Comparing two workshops, then, it should be mentioned that, while the first was more in-depth, the second had more comparative focus. Besides various regions of Siberia, the talks in the workshop dealt with Mongolia, Latvia, and Sweden. Unfortunately, several participants had to cancel at the last moment—therefore an exciting study about alcohol use among Ethiopian students and the semantics of Canadian alcoholism were missed.

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Cultivating New Lives

An Ethnographic Pilot Study of Eco-therapy Provision for People with Alcohol-related Problems in Northern Ireland

Amelia-Roisin Seifert

Humankind's relationship to, or place within, the non-human environment is a vast topic both existential and scientific, and is a rising concern in burgeoning subfields of anthropology. This paper offers a report on the findings of a pragmatic, practice-focused and policy-orientated ethnographic pilot study (Seifert et al. 2011). Following the observation of a gap in research in the dual areas of eco-therapy and non-medical alcohol interventions and rehabilitation in Northern Ireland, the pilot, conducted on behalf of Alcohol Research U.K., set out to locate and scope existing provisions of eco-therapy opportunities in Northern Ireland with particular recourse to interventions whose service users include people with a problematic alcohol-use background. Following the recommendations set out by various summary reports by anthropologists engaged in 'alcohology' (Gilbert 1991; Heath and Glasser 2004; Hunt and Barker 2001; Marshall et al. 2001; Weibel-Orlando 1989), public health more widely (for example, Hahn and Inhorn 2009), and eco-therapy in particular (Burls 2007; Milligan et al. 2004; Parr 2007), a multidisciplinary methodological approach was piloted as particularly relevant to a substantial further study reporting on the effectiveness of eco-therapy as a public-health intervention. An introduction to concepts surrounding eco-therapy precedes an illustration of two key eco-therapy project scenarios benefiting those with alcohol problems in Northern Ireland. The results of this brief analysis suggest both research-paradigmatic and practical directions that could advance the understanding and the effectiveness of this intervention in the future.

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The Krŭchma, the Kafene, and the Orient Express

Tobacco, Alcohol, and the Gender of Sacred and Secular Restraint in Bulgaria, 1856-1939

Mary Neuburger

This article explores shifts in patterns of consumption of alcohol and tobacco in Bulgaria, with a focus on public establishments in the nineteenth and first half of the twentieth century. In exploring both the gender dimension of such shifts and its religious implications, the article argues that public consumption of tobacco in particular both reflected and was constitutive of dramatic historical change. At the same time, the increased consumption of such culturally fraught substances provoked an increase in both religious and secular campaigns of “restraint,” in which gender played a key role.

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Rauch ohne Feuer: Why Germany Lags in Tobacco Control

Alice H. Cooper and Paulette Kurzer

The puzzle explored in this article is why Germany, in spite of its

superb record in environmental policy and health care, has systematically

thwarted measures to reduce smoking rates. At this point,

thousands of large-scale epidemiological findings demonstrate a relationship

between smoking and disease. Moreover, unlike alcohol,

there is no safe amount of smoking. Cigarettes kill, and smoking is

the single largest source of preventable death in advanced industrialized

states. By various estimates, tobacco kills 500,000 Europeans

per year, including 120,000 Germans. Globally, in the years 2025 to

2030, smoking will kill 7 million people in the developing world and

3 million in the industrialized world. No other consumer product is

as dangerous as tobacco, which kills more people than AIDS, legal

and illegal drugs, road accidents, murder, and suicide combined.

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Once again on the Problem of Alcoholism and Suicide among the Indigenous Peoples of the Russian North

Can Attribution Style Be a Factor?

Kirill Istomin

Existing explanations of the high rates of alcoholism and suicide among the numerically small indigenous peoples of the Russian North, Siberia, and the Russian Far East relate these social diseases to external factors such as state politics, or the economic, demographic, or socio-cultural situation. However, these reasons do not explain how exactly these factors influence the consciousness of indigenous people and determine the behavior patterns leading to alcohol consumption or suicide. This research report empirically tests the hypothesis that the group-specific attribution style that makes these people more pessimistically assess reasons and causes of events happening to and around them can play a role. The results of quantitative research conducted among teenagers representing both indigenous and non-indigenous populations of the Yamal-Nenets Autonomous Region and the Republic of Komi generally confirm this hypothesis.

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Raw liver, singed sheep's head, and boiled stomach pudding

Encounters with traditional Buriat cuisine

Sharon Hudgins

Indigenous to Inner Asia, Buriats are a formerly nomadic people who now reside in southern Siberia, in the areas east and west of Lake Baikal. Although settled members of the Russian Federation, their traditional cuisine reflects their nomadic roots. Milk and meat products - from horses, cattle, sheep, and goats - are still the two main components of the Buriats' diet, supplemented by wild and cultivated plants (primarily hardy grains and root vegetables). Despite living within the dominant Russian culture, some Buriats still retain their shamanistic beliefs and make offerings to deities or spirits when drinking alcohol or eating certain foods. They have also preserved their ritual methods of slaughtering and butchering livestock, as well as traditional ways of processing the meat.