A sociological exploration of factors contributing to student drink culture in the US
Vander Ven (sociology & anthropology, Ohio Univ.; Working Mothers and Juvenile Delinquency) delves into well-trod territory, though with a somewhat new perspective and research motive. While previous scholarly efforts have focused on binge drinking and its inherent risks, Vander Ven focuses on the social structure, meaning, and implication of drinking behaviors. With an intended audience of researchers, students, and parents, as well as college administrators, the book recounts the self-reported alcohol-related rationalizations and outcomes of over 400 college students at three different campuses. The author focuses on the impetus for drinking and the important roles codrinkers play, the range of activities that can result during a bout of drinking (fun to potentially fatal), and the ensuing impact and result of the drinking episode. This is not a comfortable read. And yet despite limited analysis and an academic's awkward touch on somewhat questionable youth-culture language, the book does offer a realistic portrayal of socially bonding drinking behaviors and attitudes. In the end Vander Ven suggests stellar ways campuses can reduce the harm of excessive drinking. VERDICT Recommended for sociologists, university administrators, and college-age students.-Jewell Anderson, Armstrong Atlantic State Univ. Lib., Savannah (c) Copyright 2011. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
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New York University Press
August 15, 2011
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