Intoxication Revealed.

Author:Sharma, Manoj
Position:Smashed! The Many Meanings of Intoxication and Drunkenness - Book review

Kelly, P., Advocat, J., Harrison, L., & Hickey, C. (2011). Smashed! The Many Meanings of Intoxication and Drunkenness. Clayton, Victoria, Australia: Monash University Publishing. [ISBN 978-0-9806512-8-7; soft cover; 229 pages; $34.95]

There are multifarious interpretations of the words intoxication and drunkenness. The authors of this book explore these words from historical, psychological, medical, biological, social, and cultural perspectives. The first author, Peter Kelly, is an Associate Professor/Principal Research Fellow at Deakin University. Second author, Jenny Advocat, is a Research Fellow at Monash University. Third author, Lyn Harrison, is an Associate Professor at Deakin University. Last author, Chris Hickey, is also an Associate Professor at Deakin University. The book is written in the backdrop of Australia.

The book is organized into five chapters. A prelude and introduction have been provided. There is a conclusion section at the end of the five chapters followed by two appendices. An index of names and index of subjects have also been provided.

The first chapter provides a historical perspective to the problem of intoxication and drunkenness. Issues surrounding alcohol have been discussed from seventeenth century to twenty first century. These issues pertain to sinfulness, delinquency, vice, and consequences of drunkenness. The Temperance and prohibition movement in the united States is also covered. In the final subsection of the chapter the role of media in portraying intoxication and drunkenness has been presented. It would have been nice to include a chapter summary at the end which is missing.

The second chapter is about the psychological, biological, and medical dimensions of intoxication and drunkenness. The issue of the struggle of these disciplines with a definition, identification, and measurement of these states along with binge drinking is presented. The physical and mental health consequences of intoxication and drunkenness are discussed with data from Australia. A subsection on subjective understandings of intoxication and drunkenness is also included. The chapter ends with a subsection on conclusion.

The third chapter is about the social, cultural and symbolic dimensions related to intoxication and drunkenness and provides a perspective from the disciplines such as anthropology, human geography, and sociology. The issue of varying blood alcohol concentration (BAC) limits in...

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