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Article
May 11, 1957

SOCIAL SETTINGS CONDUCIVE TO ALCOHOLISMA SOCIOLOGICAL APPROACH TO A MEDICAL PROBLEM

JAMA. 1957;164(2):177-181. doi:10.1001/jama.1957.62980020009013
Abstract

The sociological approach to alcoholism could be applied to such matters as diagnosis, epidemiology, rehabilitation, prevention, medical education, and the impact of institutional care. In all these instances the attitudes and behaviors and the social structuring of human beings form an essential element in that which occurs. Whether it be attitudes that prevent an alcoholic from coming into contact with a therapist, a difference between therapist and patient in relation to learned aspirations, inhibitions, and beliefs in what is "natural and good," or a specific set of cultural notions about drinking, the so-called sociological aspects can be not only relevant but even crucial for the emergence of different symptoms, different patient-physician relationships, different therapeutic results. Naturally, this in no way detracts from the significance of other approaches. During this period in our culture it does seem, however, that the sociological approach is more immediately germane to alcoholism than it might

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