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Ricardo Campos

Between 1870 and 1920 Spanish doctors’ perspectives on alcoholism were directly influenced by French and to a lesser extent British, German and Italian scientific research. 1 In general, Spanish medical studies dedicated to alcoholism did not demonstrate doctrinal originality, nor did they have an original empirical basis, as evidenced in the use and systematic analysis of statistics from other countries to support their claims. This doctrinal dependence on foreign research affected the nature of

in Alcohol, psychiatry and society
Akira Hashimoto

This chapter explores the treatment of alcoholism in post-World War II Japan, focusing on drug treatment, rehabilitation programmes and self-help groups. It looks at hospital-centred medical approaches as well as patients’ and their families’ initiatives in dealing with alcohol-related problems, such as Alcoholics Anonymous (AA), and Japanese-style treatments such as Danshukai and Naikan. Alcoholism does not appear to have drawn much government and medical attention until the second half of the

in Alcohol, psychiatry and society
Fanning Sarah E.
O’Callaghan Claire

Tenant of Wildfell Hall and ITV’s 2009 adaptation of Emily Brontë’s Wuthering Heights . The BBC’s Tenant boldly asserts that Arthur Huntingdon’s (Rupert Graves) physical and sexual abuse of his wife (Tara Fitzgerald) is the result of his alcoholism while ITV’s Wuthering Heights makes clear that Hindley Earnshaw (Burn Gorman) uses alcohol to self-medicate. While both adaptations explore the

in Diagnosing history
Comparative and transnational perspectives, c. 1700–1990s

This book addresses head-on one of the central debates in the history of alcohol and intoxication, the supposed ‘medicalisation’ of alcohol from the nineteenth century onwards. The chapters show that the very concept of medicalisation as used in the history of medicine and psychiatry needs to be more closely interrogated, with each case study in the volume demonstrating the complexities of medicalisation in practice: limited funding, state control of healthcare, ideological constraints and tensions between legislation and traditional cultural practices. The engagingly written chapters call attention to the many obstacles and challenges that historians face when they explore the relationship between medicine and alcohol. The volume also explores the shift from the use of alcohol in clinical treatment, as part of dietary regimens, incentive to work and reward for desirable behaviour during earlier periods to the emergence of ‘alcoholism’ as a disease category that requires medical intervention, is covered by medical insurance and is considered as a threat to public health. The book’s broad international scope goes well beyond the focus on Western Europe and the USA in existing historical writing. Despite the wide-ranging geographical focus, key themes are consistently brought out: definition and diagnosis, links between alcohol and crime, the rhetoric of social and economic degeneration, the impact of colonialism and the role of families in alcohol treatment.

Jasmin Brötz

This chapter explores why the idea of abstinence received considerable attention among medical doctors and the public alike in Germany during the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. It focuses on the plural and at times ambiguous semantics of the terms ‘alcoholism’, ‘addiction’ and ‘temperance’. The chapter maps how debates on alcohol were imbued with ideas about the irrationality of the ‘masses’, the nature of alcoholism as a process and the link between the body and the body politic, in

in Alcohol, psychiatry and society
Treating alcoholism in Tito’s Yugoslavia, 1948–1991
Mat Savelli

In 1971 a remarkable album was released by Jugoton, Yugoslavia’s premier record label. Normally associated with rock stars, pop acts and folk singers, the record represented Jugoton’s foray into an entirely new domain. Formally known by its catalogue number LPY 50908, Alkoholizam u riječi i pjesmi (Alcoholism in Word and Song) was jointly credited to Vladimir Hudolin and Ruža Vešligaj. 1 Vešligaj, who handled the music and lyrics, had herself entered into treatment for alcoholism in 1965, later

in Alcohol, psychiatry and society

Drinking to excess has been a striking problem for industrial and post-industrial societies – who is responsible when a ‘free’ individual opts for a slow suicide? The causes of such drinking have often been blamed on heredity, moral weakness, ‘disease’ (addiction), hedonism, and Romantic illusion. Yet there is another reason which may be more fundamental and which has been overlooked or dismissed, and it is that the drinker may act with sincere philosophical intent. The Existential Drinker looks at the convergence of a new kind of excessive, habitual drinking, beginning in the nineteenth century, and a new way of thinking about the self which in the twentieth century comes to be labelled ‘Existential’. A substantial introduction covers questions of self, will, consciousness, authenticity, and ethics in relation to drinking, while introducing aspects of Existential thought pertinent to the discussion. The Existential-drinker canon is anchored in Jack London’s ‘alcoholic memoir’ John Barleycorn (1913), where London claims he can get at the truth of existence only through the insights afforded by excessive and repeated alcohol use. The book then covers drinker-texts such as Jean Rhys’s interwar novels, Malcolm Lowry’s Under the Volcano, Charles Jackson’s The Lost Weekend and John O’Brien’s Leaving Las Vegas, along with less well-known works such as Frederick Exley’s A Fan’s Notes, Venedikt Yerofeev’s Moscow–Petushki, and A. L. Kennedy’s Paradise. The book will appeal to anybody with an interest in drinking and literature, as well as those with more specialised concerns in drinking studies, Existentialism, twentieth-century literature, and medical humanities.

Alcohol and public health
James Nicholls

absolutely nothing to do with the regulation of drunkenness in other walks of life. However, the problem of the ‘habitual drunkard’ had certainly not gone away. As Betsy Thom has shown, the disease model of alcoholism re-emerged in the 1950s, driven by the adoption of the concept by the World Health Organisation and by the spread of Alcoholics Anonymous from America. The establishment of the first AA group in Croydon in 1952 provided a springboard for the extension of the AA approach to alcoholism across the country.7 The AA conception of alcoholism was by no means the

in The politics of alcohol
Kostis Gkotsinas

Hermes’? What were the reasons for the divergent attitudes of Greek psychiatrists towards alcohol? And were these attitudes a Greek particularity or did they correspond to a broader network of ideas on alcohol circulating across Europe at the beginning of the twentieth century? In order to answer these questions, one must analyse the discourses on, and the attitudes of Greek psychiatrists towards, alcohol and alcoholism within their broader political, economic, social, cultural and intellectual context. Thus far, the

in Alcohol, psychiatry and society
Joanne Woiak

Discourses and policies that connected the concepts of alcoholism and degeneration were prominent sites at which disability was constructed in the Victorian and Edwardian eras. Alcoholism was perceived as a ‘borderland’ disability, the boundaries of which were defined in distinct ways by members of various groups of professionals and reformers. Physicians, psychiatrists, temperance advocates and eugenicists promoted and contested a variety of ideas about the aetiology and effects of inebriety. These medical and eugenic discourses focused on

in Disability and the Victorians