This paper discusses changing views about gender and drinking in Sweden c. 1830-1922. The author posits that the emergence of bourgeois morals in the 19th century were associated with a decline in the tolerance for female alcohol consumption, and also shows how the values, norms, and activities of the temperance movement interconnected with religion and notions of purity. Yet, in spite of hardening attitudes against women's drinking, alcohol remained integral in Swedish upper-class women's lives. The results are based on a qualitative study of Swedish women's diaries. The study was financed by the Swedish Research Council, 2009-2012. Study limitations are also noted.
Comment In: Subst Use Misuse. 2015 May;50(6):768-7026086309
Previous research suggests that a strong relation exists between alcohol consumption and suicide in Soviet and post-Soviet Russia. This study extends this analysis across a much longer historical time frame by examining the relationship between heavy drinking and suicide in tsarist and post-World War II Russia.
Using alcohol poisoning mortality data as a proxy for heavy drinking, time-series analytical modeling techniques were used to examine the strength of the alcohol-suicide relation in the provinces of European Russia in the period 1870-1894 and for Russia in 1956-2005.
During 1870-1894, a decreasing trend was recorded in heavy drinking in Russia that contrasted with the sharp increase observed in this phenomenon in the post-World War II period. A rising trend in suicide was recorded in both study periods, although the increase was much greater in the latter period. The strength of the heavy drinking-suicide relation nevertheless remained unchanged across time, with a 10% increase in heavy drinking resulting in a 3.5% increase in suicide in tsarist Russia and a 3.8% increase in post-World War II Russia.
Despite the innumerable societal changes that have occurred in Russia across the two study periods and the growth in the level of heavy drinking, the strength of the heavy drinking-suicide relation has remained unchanged across time. This suggests the continuation of a highly detrimental drinking culture where the heavy episodic drinking of distilled spirits (vodka) is an essential element in the alcohol-suicide association.
To describe community-driven alcohol policy for 78, primarily First Nations, Métis and Inuit, communities in Canada's three northern territories (Yukon, Northwest Territories and Nunavut) between 1970 and 2008. This is a first step to understanding the policy-oriented prevention system that has evolved in these areas over time.
Regulatory data were compiled from Part II of the Territorial Gazette Indices and the Revised Statutes and Regulations of each territory. Regulations were categorized as open, restricted, prohibited or other.
The number of communities with some form of regulation has increased steadily over time with half of the sample communities adopting some form of regulation between 1970 and 2008. The use of prohibition as a policy choice peaked in 1980 but has remained relatively steady since that time. There has been a steady increase in the adoption of other kinds of restrictions. Communities with regulations tend to have smaller and younger populations, a greater percentage of people with First Nations, Métis or Inuit origin and are more geographically isolated than those with no regulation.
This is the first time alcohol control policies have been compiled and described for the Canadian north. The dataset records the collective energies being put into community problem solving and provides a means to interpret the prevalence of health and social problems linked to alcohol use in these communities over time.
This paper takes a phenomenological hermeneutic orientation to explicate and explore the notion of the grey zone of health and illness and seeks to develop the concept through an examination of the case of alcohol consumption. The grey zone is an interpretive area referring to the irremediable zone of ambiguity that haunts even the most apparently resolute discourse. This idea points to an ontological indeterminacy, in the face of which decisions have to be made with regard to the health of a person (e.g., an alcoholic), a system (e.g., the health system), or a society. The fundamental character of this notion will be developed in relation to the discourse on health and the limitations of different disciplinary practices. The case of alcohol consumption will be used to tease out the grey zone embedded in the different kinds of knowledge made available through the disciplinary traditions of medical science, with its emphasis on somatic well-being, and anthropology, with its focus on communal well-being. This tension or grey zone embedded in different knowledge outcomes will be shown to have a discursive parallel with the dialogue between the Athenian, the Spartan, and the Cretan in Plato's Laws. Making use of the dialogical approach as described by Gadamer, the Athenian's particular resolution of the tension will be explored as a case study to demonstrate the necessarily particular analysis involved in a grey zone resolution.
During the postwar era, extensive changes in family structure and gender roles have occurred in Western countries. The aim of this study was to see if processes of change and convergence in gender roles have led to new drinking patterns among Swedish women. Data were collected from a survey conducted in 1979 and replicated in 2003. For this study, data on aspects of drinking patterns and problems were combined with demographics and indicators of social situation. For one of the drinking pattern indicators, the assumption of convergence between the sexes was confirmed. Generally, though, differences in drinking patterns are at hand among both women and men in the same direction. Also, social background factors and demographics have weaker explanatory power today compared to the late 1970s.
The study aims to investigate insofar regional differences in alcohol-induced mortality in Russia, which emerged during the early industrialization of the country, persisted over a prolonged period of time (from late nineteenth to early twenty-first century), surviving fundamental political and social changes Russia experienced.
Multivariate regression models with historical and contemporary data on alcohol-induced mortality in Russian regions were estimated to document the persistence of spatial patterns of mortality, as well as to identify the possible mediating variables. Numerous robustness checks were used to corroborate the results.
Alcohol-induced male mortality in Russian regions in 1880s-1890s is significantly and strongly correlated with male mortality due to accidental alcohol poisoning in Russian regions in 2010-2012. For female mortality, no robust correlation was established. The results for male mortality do not change if one controls for a variety of other determinants of alcohol-induced mortality and are not driven by outlier regions. Consumption of strong alcohol (in particular vodka) appears to be the mediator variable explaining this persistence.
Hazardous drinking behavioral patterns, once they emerge and crystalize during the periods of fragmentation of the traditional society and the early onsets of modernization and urbanization, can be extremely persistent. Even highly intrusive policy interventions at a later stage (like those of the Soviet government) may turn out to be insufficient to change the path-dependent outcomes.
For forty years, until 1955, spirits were rationed in Sweden under a system of individual control. Local "System companies" had a monopoly on the retail trade in spirits and wine. Private profits on alcohol were also eliminated in the restaurants and the wholesale trade. Legislation was based on the proposals put forward by the physician Ivan Bratt (1878-1956), who presented his ideas in 1909 as an alternative to prohibition. Bratt had the support of leading personalities in Swedish medicine, newspapers and politics, and he also enlisted the support of some of the leaders of the powerful temperance movement. In 1922, Swedes voted against prohibition in a referendum by 51% to 49%. The Bratt system substantially reduced alcohol abuse. When it was abolished, drunkenness in the streets doubled. By 1960, when high taxes had replaced rationing as the policy for controlling the consumption of alcohol, delirium tremens had increased since the Bratt period from 160 cases a year to 700 cases a year.