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Getting Wasted: Why College Students Drink Too Much and Party So Hardby Thomas Vander Ven
Synopses & Reviews
Most American college campuses are home to a vibrant drinking scene where students frequently get wasted, train-wrecked, obliterated, hammered, destroyed, and decimated. The terms that university students most commonly use to describe severe alcohol intoxication share a common theme: destruction, and even after repeated embarrassing, physically unpleasant, and even violent drinking episodes, students continue to go out drinking together. In Getting Wasted, Thomas Vander Ven provides a unique answer to the perennial question of why college students drink.
Vander Ven argues that college students rely on “drunk support:” contrary to most accounts of alcohol abuse as being a solitary problem of one person drinking to excess, the college drinking scene is very much a social one where students support one another through nights of drinking games, rituals and rites of passage. Drawing on over 400 student accounts, 25 intensive interviews, and one hundred hours of field research, Vander Ven sheds light on the extremely social nature of college drinking. Giving voice to college drinkers as they speak in graphic and revealing terms about the complexity of the drinking scene, Vander Ven argues that college students continue to drink heavily, even after experiencing repeated bad experiences, because of the social support that they give to one another and due to the creative ways in which they reframe and recast violent, embarrassing, and regretful drunken behaviors. Provocatively, Getting Wasted shows that college itself, closed and seemingly secure, encourages these drinking patterns and is one more example of the dark side of campus life.
Provides a new understanding of behavior that often seems inexplicable from the distance of maturity
Pundits and commentators are constantly striving to understand the political behavior of Latinos—the largest minority in the United States and a key voting block. As Catherine E. Wilson makes clear in The Politics of Latino Faith, not only are Latinos a religious community, but their religious institutions, in particular faith-based organizations, inform daily life and politics in Latino communities to a considerable degree.
Timely and discerning, The Politics of Latino Faith is a unique scholarly work that addresses this increasingly powerful political force. As Wilson shows, Latino religious institutions, whether congregations or faith-based organizations, have long played a significant role in the often poor and urban communities where Latinos live.
Concentrating on urban areas in the South Bronx, Philadelphia, and Chicago, she provides a systematic look at the spiritual, social, and cultural influence Latino faith-based organizations have provided in American life. Wilson offers keen insight into how pivotal religious identity is in understanding Latino social and political involvement in the United States. She also shows the importance of understanding the theological underpinnings at work in these organizations in order to predict their political influences.
About the Author
Thomas Vander Ven is associate professor in the department of sociology and anthropology at Ohio University and author of Working Mothers and Juvenile Delinquency.
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