Monday, March 25, 2013

Literature Review Blog #3

Wechsler, Henry, and Bernice Wuethrich. Dying to Drink: Confronting Binge Drinking on College Campuses. [Emmaus, Pa.]: Rodale, 2002. Print.

Dying to Drink talks about alcohol on campus and how binge drinking is a sort of culture with college students.  It talks about how drinking on campus is taking a bigger toll than most people realize.  Alcohol has many different forms of negative consequences but there is also a section on what students and parents and communities can do to help solve this problem.

Henry Wechsler is a lecturer at Harvard University with a Ph. D. and was the principal investigator of the College Alcohol Study.  He has also conducted several national surveys of college and university students across the United States and published extensively on the subject.  Bernice Wuethrich is the Vice president for Global Health and Science.  She works intermittently as a freelance science writer, having contributed to Science, New Scientist, Discover, and others.

Hazing-doing any act, or causing any situation that recklessly or intentionally subjects a student to the risk of serious bodily injury for the purpose of initiation into a student organization, school, college, or university.
School Rituals-Many universities host or at least tolerate high-risk rituals or events that are commonly known to involve heavy drinking. These activities are usually student initiated and run, but they are so closely associated with the school’s identity that administrators are often loathe to interfere.  These rituals can result in physical and emotional injury or even death.

“Participation in fraternity initiations and events heightens the risk of excessive drinking.”  (page 35)  This shows how binge drinking can be related to other aspects of the campus like fraternities and rituals.
“The fraternity drinking culture is so entrenched that only the united will and action of university administrators, students, parents, alumni, and fraternities themselves will change it.” (page 52)  This shows how deep drinking and fraternities are involved in universities and how large of an effort it would take to change.
“While most attempts to curb heavy drinking thus far have focused on changing the attitudes of individual students or on pointing out alcohol’s harms, far less attention has been paid to changing the environment that promotes, facilitates, and perpetuates heavy drinking.” (page 90-91)  This brings up a good point about how to go about curbing the amount of binge drinking that goes on on a college campus.  It makes sense that to change the attitudes of students you have to target the things that influence them on a daily basis.

This source has a lot of data that was collected from many universities around the United States.  This gives examples from many different sources and different perspectives on how binge drinking affects college campuses and even suggestions on how to change it.  It touches a lot on cultural and social aspects of binge drinking especially with the association with fraternities.

1 comment:

  1. This is a great source to support an argument for working to change the drinking culture on campus. That is a very deeply entrenched culture, though, so it seems like a hard thing to take on. But unless you address the culture, you can't make real change.

    I have often asked myself, "How is it, with college so expensive, that students continue to drink so much?" You would think they would focus more attention on their studies if it cost so much. The answer may be that the culture of drinking is just so deeply embedded that it overwhelms individual choice and rational decision making. It creates peer pressures that lead to excessive drinking. And it definitely detracts from student performance.