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Alcohol Culture World History


Alcohol consumption is a rather widespread phenomenon, as the culture of liquor drinking exists in nearly every state of the world. However, in some states, the production of alcohol and its promotion among certain denizens of the population based on the existing drinking culture is used for political reasons. Although the reasons behind enhanced alcohol consumption may range from a part of the strategy for maintaining economic sustainability to a tool for managing people’s opinions by the political forces at the helm of the state, the effects of increased and enhanced alcohol consumption are similar in most of the scenarios and usually involve enhancement of closeness among the members of the community in question.

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Theoretical Frameworks

Umberto Eco

It should be born in mind, though, that the consumption of alcohol leads to the creation of a set of specific norms that are obviously different from the cultural norms that are viewed as acceptable within a certain society. From the tenets of the theory suggested by Umberto Eco, alcohol can be viewed as the substance that contributes to the creation of a specific subculture. The Mexican tradition to view alcohol as an integral part of celebrations and festivals can be considered a prime example of the phenomenon.

However, seeing that drinking alcoholic beverages leads to the restriction of the options for the normal functioning of one’s brain, it will be reasonable to suggest that alcohol cannot be viewed as the tool for introducing a new and creative element into the process of communication; though making the conversation process looser, the specified factor restricts the abilities to analyze, think and converse in an adequate manner. As a result, the drinking culture, which exists in certain states, may be used by the state government as the tool for imposing specific viewpoints on the unsuspecting citizens, who are incapable of thinking critically due to the consumption of alcohol.


The reciprocal effect, which culture and alcohol consumption have on each other, is a rather peculiar phenomenon. Unlike Eco, Gladwell suggested that it is the culture that defines the aptitude to drink heavy liquor among certain denizens of the state population. The above-mentioned approach towards analyzing the effects of alcohol consumption on the community contributes to understanding the premises for the development of the alcohol culture and, therefore, promotes the design of the tools for managing the issue. More importantly, the theory in question helps understand the political, economic and social implications of the alcohol culture, as it sheds some light on the use of alcohol as a tool for controlling people on the cultural level and, therefore, exert a much more powerful influence. The specified phenomenon can be observed in a range of states, where the alcohol culture exists, such as Japan, China, Russia, etc.


While the driving forces behind the enhancement of alcohol consumption within a specific society may differ radically, ranging from economic and political implications to the sociocultural effects of liquor consumption, it is the effect of closeness among the members of the community under analysis that makes people continue the infamous tradition and engage in heavy drinking. A brief overview of the states, where the alcohol culture is supported and is viewed as a part and parcel of the social tradition, shows that the process of drinking leads to the emotional openness, which results in a closer and a more efficient communication.

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