The cultural dimensions of alcohol policy worldwide

D. C. Walsh, P. J. Cook, K. Davis, M. Grant, P. Sulkunen, G. E. Vaillant, T. L. Delbanco

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


For a polyglot society like the United States, cultural factors such as these create a pastiche of competing definitions and values that frustrate attempts to build consensus or comprehensive policy. Americans therefore can learn much from a cross-cultural exploration of styles of alcohol use, perceptions of associated problems, and attitudes toward control. Two main lessons stand out from international comparisons. First, effective alcohol policy must take account of tensions between health considerations and political, economic, and social forces, as well as deeper cultural meanings attached to alcohol and its use. Second, a wide range of policy options can be subsumed in a general analytic framework that highlights the levers and the targets of efforts to control the harmful effects of alcohol.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)48-62
Number of pages15
JournalHealth Affairs
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1989
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)


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