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Cultural History of Alcohol Essay

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Alcohol has been the lifeblood of civilization dating thousands of years back in time, and it is clear to see the culture impact it has made throughout history. People perceive alcohol in many different ways; depending on gender, age, religious background, or social upbringing. Throughout history alcohol has affected different cultures and various demographics. It has been a source of pleasure and aesthetic in many cultures, along with being one of the oldest rites of passage, especially in modern day American society. Alcohol and drinking were also an integral part of religious observances throughout history and culture. The use of alcohol can be seen as a social lubricant, and besides being a thirst quencher, it can play a pivotal role in enhancing enjoyment and quality of life. For thousands of years alcohol has demonstrated its ability to bring people together, which proves its influential capabilities it has on culture.
Influential alcohols include beers, wines, and liquors consisting of whiskey, gin, vodka, rum, etc; all playing unique roles in their respective cultures. Beer was vital part of civilization and the Babylonian, Assyrian, Egyptian, Hebrew, Chinese, and Inca cultures. The history of wine spans thousands of years and intertwines with the history of agriculture, cuisine, civilization and humanity itself. Spirits, or liquors, originate from different parts of the world, each possessing their own characteristics that distinguish themselves from the next.
In most cultures, the primary view of alcohol is a positive one. The ancient Egyptians used the phrase for beer as a phrase to represent all food, in addition to using it as a common greeting. Usually the use of alcohol is viewed as an important adjunct to soc...


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...gh alcohol will always be the master of some, for most of us it will continue to be the servant of man.”



Works Cited

Hanson, David J. 1995. “Preventing Alcohol Abuse: Alcohol, Culture and Control”. Wesport, CT: Praeger Publishers
Mayo Clinic Staff. 2006. Alcohol and your health: weighing the pros and cons. accessed Oct 4, 2011. http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/alcohol/SC00024
McGovern, Patrick.1909. Uncorking the Past: The Quest for Wine, Beer and Other Alcoholic Beverages. University of California: University of California Press
Peele, S. & Brodsky A. 1996. “Alcohol and Society: How culture influences the way people drink”. Accessed Oct 4. http://peele.net/lib/index12.html
Hanson, David J. (1995). History of alcohol and drinking around the world. Alcohol Problems and Solutions Web site. Accessed Oct 4. www.potsdam.edu/hansondj/controversies/1114796842.html


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