Alcohol consumption is among the major global social concerns that policymakers are seeking to address. Alcohol consumption is primarily affected by the cultural aspects of a given society or nation. The act of promoting and marketing brands as well as services using the social media as a medium is a primary component of culture. According to Sudhinaraset et al. (2016), most individuals, therefore, consume alcohol to fit into the societal expectations and standards as portrayed in the various advertisements and celebrity lives in the social media platforms. Other important cultural aspects that influence the consumption of alcohol is the social status where some people consume alcohol to fit into a given social class. Alcohol is also used to define various cultural situations for instance in the western culture; champagne is used to signify occasions like wedding ceremonies. Alcohols also act as an affiliation statement meaning membership to a given group, tribe, generation or country.
There exist racial and ethnic variances in alcohol consumption in the United States. Research indicates differences across the racial groups in alcohol consumption, alcohol-related disorders and alcohol treatment (Dawson et al., 2015). The Native Americans and Hispanics, for instance, have a high alcohol consumption across their varying age groups, gender, and sub-populations. Both whites and black Americans have an increased risk of alcohol-related disorders compared to other ethnic groups. However, in the case of alcohol reoccurrence, the Hispanics and blacks encounter higher alcohol consumption rates compared to the whites. The observable differences are as a result of the immigration encounters, racial disparities, and discrimination, economic advantages as well as genetic variances. Researchers, therefore, require a deeper understanding of these impacts for the ethnic minority groups, to help cure the challenges of alcohol consumption and reduce the health differences based on alcohol consumption in the United States.
In every culture, alcohol consumption occurs in specific environments and is intended at enhancing social relationships and bonding. Some cultural groups, however, encounter severe alcohol-linked challenges compared to others. African cultures integrate alcohol drinking in their social beliefs, and religious practices, and thus have minimal alcohol-related problems. As postulated by Sudhinaraset et al. (2016), cultures found in countries like the United States and Australia reveal increased issues relating to alcohol drinking, for instance, anti-social disorders and violent behavioral patterns. The South American and Mediterranean cultures, on the other hand, have peaceful drinking patterns and have minimal alcohol-related challenges. The variances occur due to the differences in the genetic setups, cultural attitudes, and beliefs on alcohol as well as the expectancies concerning the impacts of alcohol. Some of the challenges linked to alcohol consumption include accidents, crime, abuse of spouses, violence, and diseases.
Alcohol is also used as a differentiator of the gender variances in the society where there are masculine and feminine drinks. Feminine drinks are considered weaker, softer and sweeter compared to the male drinks. Alcoholic beverages used by women are in most cases regarded nonalcoholic, and their consumption, therefore, is not perceived as drinking (Dawson et al., 2015). Female drinking is generally discouraged in many societies, but it occurs nonetheless. The main implication of alcoholic potency is that women may accord honor to the male drinks and consider them the stronger gender.
In conclusion, alcohol consumption is influenced by various cultural aspects in society, for instance, social status, statement of affiliation, advertisements, and gender differentiation. Varying racial groups suffer alcohol-related problems differently; for example, the black Americans and Hispanics suffer more alcohol-related issues compared to the whites. Alcohol acts as a gender differentiator in the society where there are masculine and feminine drinks, to signify that men are ranked higher than women socially.
Dawson, D. A., Goldstein, R. B., Saha, T. D., & Grant, B. F. (2015). Changes in alcohol
consumption: United States, 2001–2002 to 2012–2013. Drug and alcohol
dependence, 148, 56-61.
Sudhinaraset, M., Wigglesworth, C., & Takeuchi, D. T. (2016). Social and cultural contexts of
alcohol use: Influences in a social–ecological framework. Alcohol research: current
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