ALKOHOL I GRØNLAND: Problemorienteret forskning og lokal drikkekultur


  • Bo Wagner Sørensen


Bo Wagner Sørensen: Alcohol in

Greenland: Problem-oriented Research

and Local Drinking Culture

The article sums up the main literature on

alcohol in Greenland, showing its markedly

problem-oriented approach. Drinking in

general is read as a sign of the time - i.e., as a

symptom that something has gone wrong in

Greenlandic society. More specifically, the

literature seems informed by the idea that

Greenlanders are a people in transition, that

they are trapped in between the so-called

traditional society and a modem lifestyle and

as such ridden by “acculturative stress”.

Alcohol, according to this perspective, may

have a function of reducing anxiety.

Interestingly, the explanatory framework is

roughly the same in research dating back to

the early 1960s as in the recent research from

the late 1990s, even if Greenland has

changed in important ways during this time

spån. In contrast to the general approach, I

focus empirically on male drinking sessions,

showing how they centre around beer

drinking, and sometimes on getting drunk.

The men involved are motivated, however,

not primarily by the beer itself, but by the

sense of community created during the

sessions. The drinking sessions are not

unproblematic as they may conflict with

family obligations, and they also seem to

confirm the idea underlying the dominant

discourse on gender that men, in contrast to

their female counterparts, are irresponsible,

immature and even problem-ridden. The

overall aim of the article is to point to new

ways of going about alcohol research in

Greenland in order to counter a one-sided

problem-oriented approach that focuses on

social anomie.





Sørensen, B. W. (1998). ALKOHOL I GRØNLAND: Problemorienteret forskning og lokal drikkekultur. Tidsskriftet Antropologi, (39). Hentet fra