This website uses cookies to ensure you have the best experience. Learn more

Cultural Context: Alcohol Essay

2292 words - 10 pages

Cultural Context: Alcohol

Alcohol has always been a controversial topic in the United States for social, political, and religious reasons. The negative effects of drinking came to the foreground of American concern during the early twentieth century. This was a time of great prosperity followed by the Great Depression. Both of these eras led Americans to turn to or against liquor as the cause or demise of their success. Prohibition marked a change in the American way of life and is best documented by F. Scott Fitzgerald and Ernest Hemingway in their contemporary works. Both of these authors grappled with alcohol use and abuse within their own lives and writing.

On 12:01 a.m. ...view middle of the document...

Business tycoons quickly jumped on board with the prohibitionists. They, especially Ford and Rockefeller, believed that alcohol consumption was causing industrial inefficiency and thus costing them money (Parrish, 96).

A major impetus for the passage of a national prohibition law was World War I. “World War I made Prohibition seem patriotic, since many breweries were owned by German Americans” and it was feared that money spent on alcohol would be supporting the Kaiser and his propaganda, ( The Anti-Saloon League and the WCTU asked the compelling question “how could a government that called for maximum agricultural production…justify the wasteful use of grains for intoxicants?” (Parrish, 96). These points were extremely valid and the American people, at least in Congress, responded. It is unlikely that Prohibition would have passed without this sense of patriotic fervor and loyalty.

The irony of the prohibition movement is that hard drinking was already illegal in eighteen states by 1917. The War Prohibition Act and the Volstead Act had already limited the alcohol content and availability of beer and wine (Levine, 1). The result banned nearly 65% of the adult population from legal drinking three years before Prohibition went into effect, (Parrish, 96). It is also important to note that Prohibition was not a public health campaign to reduce alcohol-related illnesses, but instead a social movement, (Levine, 1).

This social movement, however, was largely ineffectual. Prohibition was difficult to enforce and greeted with a violent reaction from many who chose to undermine it. Bootleggers, rumrunners, and moonshiners all made sure that alcohol was still readily available. Parrish wrote “…any thirsty citizen could still buy a drink in most major American cities about one minute after stepping off the train,” (101). The statistics about the presence of alcohol during Prohibition are staggering. During this era, New York City had approximately 30,000 speakeasies. This number was double the amount of legal bars in the metropolis prior to 1920. It is also estimated that during every year of Prohibition more than one million gallons of liquor were smuggled into American from Canada, ( In Cleveland alone, there were at least 100,000 moonshiners brewing their own beer or making gin for their own use and to give or sell to acquaintances, ( Even those who did not want to blatantly break the law managed to get around it. A popular way of doing so was to find a doctor to prescribe whiskey for a medical condition. Certain liquors were still made and sold for medicinal purposes and were easily found in drugstores and pharmacies.

The 1920s were a time of great social change and rebellion. ...

Other Essays Like Cultural Context: Alcohol

Semiotics and Social Interaction Essay

2171 words - 9 pages in the signs reflect the socio-political context of the Emirati culture and coerce the public to abide by the social and moral code of conduct displayed. ‘Thus, culture establishes predictability in human interaction’ (Lustig &Koester 2010, ibid). Intercultural communication is a social process that can happen effortlessly however, more often than not, cultural differences can lead to much contestation. From my cross-cultural communication

Legalizing Marijuana Essay

1838 words - 8 pages is less toxic than most pharmaceutical drugs in current use, and is helpful for some patients, including those with Wasting syndrome, chronic muscle spasticity and tractable nausea. It frustrates him that he can prescribe marijuana for his patients that could really benefit from it. (Weil, 2002) Is Marijuana Addictive? In the 1996 Book, “The Chemistry of Mind – Altering Drugs: History Pharmacology and Cultural Context”, ranked the addictiveness

Developmental Psychology

776 words - 4 pages ., marriage age) Environmental Context (cont)  Affluence   Often have problems engaging in family interactions Risks include (vs. lower SES youth):      Poor grades/academic achievement Alcohol/drug use Higher levels of anxiety, depression Unavailable parents (overscheduled; demanding) Poverty     Also threatens development 13% of Americans affected Hardest hit are parents under age 25 with young

Hlsc120: Society, Culture and Health

2184 words - 9 pages and drinking alcohol which is affecting society in many ways, causing road traffic accidents and property damage. I think most people in Australia like to have junk food and go out for meals because of their busy life which can cause obesity. To examine why it is caused? I think it is a good idea to use social imagination to describe the different sociological perspectives such as their traditional belief, cultural and the policy of health care

Anime Censorship Sides

892 words - 4 pages as sex and alcohol, and have more liberal views than most western countries, nor do they view animated violence in the same terms. This is something that is unprecedented in American cartoon shows. When compared to contemporary American cultural standards, the original Japanese programs contain a lot of violence and sensuality. This isn't to say that American cartoons, such as Looney Tunes, where characters blow each other up, don't contain any

Beneath Clouds/Wild Cat Falling Essay

1202 words - 5 pages Comparative essay – Beneath Clouds and Wild Cat Falling Ivan Sen’s 2001 film Beneath Clouds and Mudrooroo’s novel Wild Cat Falling are both immensely similar but also very different in context. In both texts, we see the journey of young aboriginal people who are progressing through a stage of immense change in their life. Suffering racism, prejudice and alienation, the young people must break down barriers and lead a journey both physically but

Drug Use Teens

2518 words - 11 pages youth subcultures from post war through to today, Jazz bars, Mods, hippies, punks and other popular youth movements have always engaged with and at times popularized the use of certain drugs that have run hand in hand with their socio-cultural context (Hendry, 1999, p34). What is of particular concern today for authorities is the rise and normalization of drug use around mainstream adolescent culture, particularly as Hunt suggests within a affluent

Effectiveness of Employee Counseling at the Local Government Unit

4608 words - 19 pages stands for and what its people believe in are crucial to its competitive success. Values provide a common language for aligning organizational leadership with its people. It gives shape and character to the organization, and in turn the organization gives recognition to actualizing the values through shared practices (Westwood, 1990). In the context of this study, the word value refers to the cultural responses to the concept of counseling and the

How Does The Composer Of "Clueless" Use Film Techniques To Transform The Social, Historical And Environmental Context Of Jane Austen's "Emma" To The Modern Context Of "Clueless"?

4588 words - 19 pages shot, which has a soft focus, uses low-key lighting and is in slow motion speed. This indicates that the parties Cher attends involve alcohol/drugs, so Cher must be responsible enough not to make any wrong decisions in order to keep her character sweet, innocent, and clean for the audience. Through these film techniques, Heckerling transforms the environmental context of Austen's novel Emma to the modern Californian setting of Clueless.Many changes

The Language of "The Heyday of Dag" by Whitehead

745 words - 3 pages First of all, I should say that it's quite difficult to analyze the language of Whitehead's characters (and not only his ones but all the characters in general) if you're not a native-speaker. Probably, sometimes I will be running away analogizing from the context of Russian people and my set of mind. But I'll try to keep to the point. Before starting to speak about "The Heyday of Dag" I'd like to say that my course paper (which I'm going to

Guidelines on Multicultural Education

1529 words - 7 pages are ethically and racially different from themselves” (American Psychological Association [APA], 2002). The context and purpose of this guideline is to make psychologists and other mental health professionals aware that the cultural exposure and experiences that formed their world views (which may be influenced by such things as race, gender, belief systems, values, environment, etc) may not be the same as those they treat. The reading

Related Papers

The Use Of Drug In The Islamic World Article Review

1163 words - 5 pages ARTICLE REVIEW Article: "THE USE OF DRUG IN THE ISLAMIC WORLD" Author: Taha Baaasher, FRC Psych Regional Adviser on Mental Health, WHO EMBRO In the article THE USE OF DRUG IN THE ISLAMIC WORLD , author Taha Baaasher, FRC describes the development of the Islamic community and the control of alcoholism within context of overall socio-cultural changes. The author also reviews the origin and use of opium, cannabis, khat and

Legacy Of Leslie Marmon Silko Essay

1947 words - 8 pages described in the story were caused by his cursing the rain in the jungles of the Philippines. Tayo decides he wants to receive cultural counseling and guidance from spiritual healers to resolve his mental health issues (Silko, 1977). Current Cultural Issues Battle Fatigue is now known as Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and Silko included issues of alcohol use/abuse among Native Americans in Ceremony. Both these topics remain very

Drug Abuse Essay

1011 words - 5 pages Nursing Essay Name: Course: Tutor: Date: Substance abuse refers to the pattern of continued use, despite adverse consequence. Socio-cultural determinants of substance abuse of substance use imply to social factors that affect the outcome of drug abuse. The group characteristic determines social cultural determinants, and the general beliefs in history of the set community. For instance, smoking was considered fashionable in the early

Wk 2 Individual Assignment

2171 words - 9 pages hostile or fatalistic outlook”(Adler et al., 1994; Berkman and Syme, 1979; Bosma et al., 1997; House et al., 1988; Karasek and Theorell, 1990) as cited in (Psychosocial Risk Factors). Kimberly has gone through these exact psychosocial context. The alcohol, smoking, and at risk of risks is true for Kimberly under the psychosocial context of behavioral risk factors. The socioeconomic stressors are inverse with Kimberly’s SES health behavior