Europeans constitute twelve and a half percent of the world's population but consume fifty percent of the recorded world production of alchohol. The role of alcohol-- sometimes social, sometimes ceremonial--plays a significant role in the cultural, religious and social identities of these countries. The majority of studies on alcohol have ignored the importance of cultural variation.
In "Alcohol, Gender and Culture," the contributors show how different groups define the proper use of alcohol, how state policies may affect drinking behavior, highlighting how beverages and combustibles must be seen in relation to each other. From this it is shown how important socio-cultural distinctions are made between and within ethnic groups, socio-economic groups, genders and religious ideologies. What one drinks, how one drinks, with whom, and where all influence not only how alcoholic substances are perceived, but how social relations are experienced as well.
"Alcohol, Gender and Culture" presents material from Greece, Spain, France, Hungary, Sweden and Ireland to show how the social construction of drinking may provide an analytical tool with which to approach different socio-cultural groups. The contributors demonstrate how any cultural group can be compared to another through its attitudes to alcohol. "Alcohol, Gender and Culture" is an invaluable reading for students and scholars of anthropology, cultural history and gender studies.