Alcohol in Africa: Mixing Business, Pleasure, and Politics
Alcohol in Sub-Saharan Africa has historically been a conduit for religious and political expression controlled by male elders. Over the past century and especially during the last two crisis-ridden decades, alcohol's ceremonial role has been largely displaced. Rapid income differentiation and economic marginalization have spurred production and consumption of alcohol. In many localities, expanding supply has led to drinking patterns that impinge on general social welfare. These circumstances coincide with the continent-wide implementation of structural adjustment and economic liberalization policies. One might ask, have those policies driven people to drink?
Currently, alcohol is a taboo subject for donors and African governments alike, yet it is at the nexus of many of the continent's most pressing problems. Agricultural sector decline, large-scale labor redundancy, household instability, and AIDS have cause or effect linkages to changing alcohol usage. This edited collection explores the economic, political, and social meanings of alcohol usage. The material is contextualized within a review of existing anthropological, social history, and social welfare literature on alcohol, and a broad historical overview of the continental trends in alcohol production and consumption. Both the pleasure and the pain of alcohol usage emerge, providing insight into the ambiguity of alcohol in Africa today.
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connected with local beer production, describe the craft techniques employed in
beer brewing, and discuss the implications of low efficiency of woodfuel usage
connected with women's existing beer-brewing technology. The next sections ...
annual wood consumption in a typical Sub-Saharan village is used for brewing
beer. This estimate includes brewing for home use and ceremonies as well as
larger-scale brewing for sale in village bars. A crude estimate for a typical rural ...
Prudence characterizes the behavior of people who practice the customs, as well
as those who have decided to convert. In contrast to other West African societies (
van Beek 1987), beer brewing in Maane is an exclusively female activity.
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