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Alcohol And Culture

D. Mandelbaum
Published 1965 · Sociology

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There are a great many substances that men have learned to ingest in order to get special bodily sensations. Of them all, alcohol is culturally the most important by far. It was anciently the most widespread in use, the most widely valued as a ritual and societal artifact, the most deeply embedded in diverse cultures. Tribal peoples of all the major parts of the world (save Oceania and most of North America) knew alcoholic drink; it was of considerable interest in the principal civilisations, in most of them from their early beginnings onward. In some languages, as in English, the very term ‘drink’ takes on the connotation of drinking alcoholic liquids.
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