Hmong Drinking Practices in the United States

The Influence of Migration
  • Joseph Westermeyer


A small literature has begun to document those changes in drinking practices that occur in association with acculturation. One subtopic within this general field has been the appearance of problematic drinking and alcoholism among people who did not previously use alcohol and then were conquered by and/or integrated with a group who did use alcohol and had problems with it. These studies have primarily involved American Indian groups in North America (e.g., Carpenter, 1959; Kunitz & Levy, 1974; MacAndrew & Edgerton, 1969; Stull, 1972; Westermeyer, 1972). A second category of studies has originated in societies that used alcohol or some other intoxicant in traditional times; but massive influence by a colonial or conquering power led to the replacement of traditional drinking by new forms. These reports have mostly come from Oceania (e.g., Gluckman, 1974; Hocking, 1970; Ogan, 1966). In a third category, Heath (1971) and the Honigmanns (1945) among others have studied drinking practices of ethnic groups in contact with each other, along with the new social functions served by these drinking practices when the two groups get together. For example, intergroup drinking can serve to reduce interracial and interclass tensions while facilitating intergroup communication (Heath, 1971; Honigmann & Honigmann, 1945). And fourth, Karayannis and Kelepouris (1967) have examined the changes of drinking practices over time in association with economic and social change.


Heavy Drinking Drinking Pattern Cultural Imperative Drinking Event Drinking Practice 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1985

Authors and Affiliations

  • Joseph Westermeyer
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of PsychiatryUniversity of MinnesotaMinneapolisUSA

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