Advertisement

Jewish-Americans and Alcohol

Processes of Avoidance and Definition
  • Barry Glassner
  • Bruce Berg

Abstract

One overriding reason has been given to examine the drinking patterns and attitudes of Jews: they present low rates of alcoholism and alcohol abuse. Although Jewish populations evidence a high percentage of adult drinkers (Riley & Marder, 1947; Mulford, 1964; Cahalan & Cisin, 1968; HEW, 1972; Levy, 1973), they have low alcoholism and alcohol problem rates (Snyder [1958], 1978; King, 1961; Chafetz & Demone, 1962; Roberts & Myers, 1967; Room, 1968; HEW, 1972; Lowenthal, Wald, & Klein, 1975; Schmidt & Popham, 1976; Greeley & McCready, 1978; Glassner & Berg, 1980). The usual statistic given in recent years is that more than 7% of the adult United States population are alcoholics, but less than 1% of the adult Jewish population is so classified (Unkovic, Adler, & Miller, 1975, 1977). Some researchers argue for a similarly low rate of alcohol abuse in Israel (King, 1961), and historical analysis suggests that alcohol problems have been rare in Jewish communities for the last 2,500 years (Keller, 1970).

Keywords

Alcohol Abuse Quarterly Journal Alcohol Problem Jewish Community Jewish Population 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

References

  1. Alexander, D. N., & Campbell, E. Q. Normative milieux and social behaviors. In G. L. Maddox (Ed.), The domesticated drug. New Haven, CT: College and University Press, 1970.Google Scholar
  2. Bales, R. F. The “fixation factor” in alcohol addiction. Unpublished doctoral dissertation, Harvard University, 1944.Google Scholar
  3. Cahalan, D., & Cisin, I. H. American drinking practices. Quarterly Journal of Studies on Alcohol 1968, 29, 142.Google Scholar
  4. Chafetz, M. E., & Demone H. W. Alcoholism and society. New York: Oxford University Press, 1962.Google Scholar
  5. Cisin, I. H. Formal and informal social controls over drinking. In L. Ewing & B. Rouse (Eds.), Drinking: Alcohol in American society. Chicago: Nelson-Hall, 1978, 145–158.Google Scholar
  6. Conrad, P., & Schneider, J. Deviance and medicalization. St. Louis: Mosby, 1980.Google Scholar
  7. Dennis, P. The role of the drunk in an Oaxacan village. American Anthropologist, 1975, 77, 856–863.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Feldman, W. M. Racial aspects of alcoholism. British Journal of Inebriety, 1923, 21, 1–15.Google Scholar
  9. Glassner, B., & Berg B. How Jews avoid alcohol problems. American Sociological Review, 1980, 45, 647–664.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Glassner, B., & Berg, B. How Jews define alcoholism. Journal of Studies on Alcohol, 1984, 45, 16–25.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  11. Greeley, A. M., & McCready, W. C. Societal influences on drinking behavior. NORC paper presented to the International Medical Advisory Conference of the Brewing Associations, Toronto, October, 1978.Google Scholar
  12. HEW. Alcohol and health. First Special Report to the U. S. Congress from the Secretary of Health, Education and Welfare. Washington, DC: U. S. Government Printing Office, 1972.Google Scholar
  13. Hill, T. M. Survey of Jewish drinking patterns. Military Chaplain’s Review, 1977, 65-77.Google Scholar
  14. Keller, M. The great Jewish drink mystery. British Journal of Addiction, 1970, 64, 287–295.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. King, A. R. The alcohol problem in Israel. Quarterly Journal of Studies on Alcohol, 1961, 22, 321–324.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  16. Knupfer, G., & Room, R. Drinking patterns and attitudes of Irish, Jewish and white Protestant American men. Quarterly Journal of Studies on Alcohol, 1967, 28, 676–699.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  17. Kramer, J. R., & Leventman, S. Children of the gilded ghetto. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 1961.Google Scholar
  18. Levy, L. Drug use on campus. Drug Forum, 1973, 2, 141–171.Google Scholar
  19. Lowenthal, U., Wald, D., & Klein, H. Hospitalization of alcoholics and the therapeutic community. Harefuah, 1975, 89, 316–320.Google Scholar
  20. McGonegal, J. The role of sanction in drinking behavior. Quarterly Journal of Studies on Alcohol, 1972, 33, 692–697.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  21. Malzberg, B. Social and biological aspects of mental disease. Utica, NY: State Hospital Press, 1940.Google Scholar
  22. Mandelbaum, D. G. Alcohol and culture. Current Anthropology, 1965, 6, 281–288.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Mizruchi, E. H., & Perruchi, R. Prescription, proscription and permissiveness: Aspects of norms and deviant drinking behavior. In G. Maddox (Ed.), The domesticated drug. New Haven, CT: College and University Press, 1970.Google Scholar
  24. Mulford, H. A. Drinking and deviant behavior, USA 1963. Quarterly Journal of Studies on Alcohol, 1964, 25, 674.Google Scholar
  25. Pittman, D. J. International overview: Social and cultural factors in drinking patterns, pathological and non-pathological. In D. J. Pittman (Ed.), Alcoholism. New York: Harper & Row, 1967.Google Scholar
  26. Plaut, T. F. Alcohol problems: A report to the nation by the cooperative commission on the study of alcoholism. New York: Oxford University Press, 1967.Google Scholar
  27. Ries, J. Public acceptance of the disease concept of alcoholism. Journal of Health and Social Behavior, 1971, 18, 338–344.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Riley, J. W., & Marder, C. The social pattern of alcoholic drinking. Quarterly Journal of Studies on Alcohol, 1947, 8, 265–273.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  29. Roberts, B. H., & Myers, J. K. Religion, national origin, immigration and mental illness. In S. I. Weinberg (Ed.), Sociology of mental disorders. Chicago: Aldine, 1967.Google Scholar
  30. Room, R. Cultural contingencies of alcoholism. Journal of Health and Social Behavior, 1968, 8, 99–113.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Schmidt, W., & Popham, R. E. Impressions of Jewish alcoholics. Journal of Studies on Alcohol, 1976, 37, 931–939.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  32. Sklar, M. Conservative Judaism. New York: Schocken, 1972.Google Scholar
  33. Snyder, D. Alcohol and the Jews. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 1958.Google Scholar
  34. Unkovic, C. M., Adler, R. J., & Miller, S. E. A contemporary study of Jewish alcoholism. The Alcohol Digest, 1975, 9, vi–xiii.Google Scholar
  35. Wilkinson, R. The prevention of drinking problems. New York: Oxford University Press, 1970.Google Scholar
  36. Zimberg, S. Socio-psychiatric perspective on Jewish alcohol abuse. Paper presented to the Task Force on Alcoholism of the Commission on Synagogue Relations, New York, March 1976.Google Scholar
  37. Zucker, R. A. Parental influences on the drinking patterns of their children. In M. Greenblatt & M. Schuckit (Eds.), Alcoholism problems in women and children. New York: Grune & Stratton, 1976, 211–238.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1985

Authors and Affiliations

  • Barry Glassner
    • 1
  • Bruce Berg
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of SociologySyracuse UniversitySyracuseUSA
  2. 2.School of CriminologyFlorida State UniversityTallahasseeUSA

Personalised recommendations