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.
Stephen Jay Gould was not only a leading paleontologist and evolutionary theorist, he was also a humanist with an enduring interest in the history and philosophy of science. The extraordinary range of Goulds work was underpinned by a richly nuanced and deeply insightful worldview.
Richard York and Brett Clark engage Goulds science and humanism to illustrate and develop the intellectual power of Goulds worldview, particularly with regard to the philosophy of science. They demonstrate how the Gouldian perspective sheds light on many of the key debates occurring not only in the natural sciences, but in the social sciences as well. They engage the themes that unified Goulds work and drove his inquires throughout his intellectual career, such as the nature of history, both natural and social, particularly the profound importance of contingency and the uneven tempo of change. They also assess Goulds views on structuralism, highlighting the importance of the dialectical interaction of structural forces with everyday demands for function, and his views on the hierarchical ordering of causal forces, with some forces operating at large scales and/or over long spans of time, while others are operating on small scales and/or occur frequently or rapidly.
York and Clark also address Goulds application of these principals to understanding humanity's place in nature, including discussions of human evolution, sociobiology, and the role of art in human life. Taken together, this book illuminates Goulds dynamic understanding of the world and his celebration of both science and humanism.
About the Author
is associate professor of sociology at the University of Oregon. He is co-editor of the journal Organization and Environment
and co-author (with John Bellamy Foster and Brett Clark) of Critique of Intelligent Design
Brett Clark assistant professor of sociology at North Carolina State University. He is co-author (with John Bellamy Foster and Richard York) of Critique of Intelligent Design.