Jewish-Americans and Alcohol

Processes of Avoidance and Definition
  • Barry Glassner
  • Bruce Berg


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).


Alcohol Abuse Quarterly Journal Alcohol Problem Jewish Community Jewish Population 
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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

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