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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The attitude of men to commercial brewing by their wives was also governed by
another factor: the new and constantly rising cash costs of maintaining a
household. Small items previously bartered — oil, pots, salt, knives, some
Women's cash income came in a trickle and was spent largely on clothes or on
the daily needs of the household. It might indeed be argued that despite the
intrusion of cash, and women's ability to earn cash through brewing, the pattern ...
Traditionally, the main cash crops of the area were Arabica coffee, cotton and
tobacco. Food production was entirely for subsistence, and virtually everyone
grew their own food. However, like other parts of Uganda, Kibaale District has ...
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