The Collectivity of Drinking Cultures: A Theory of the Distribution of Alcohol Consumption.


  • *Presented at the 29th International Institute of the Prevention and Treatment of Alcoholism, Zagreb 27th June-1st July 1983.


In this paper it is argued that Ledermann's so-called single-distribution theory is not based on substantial hypotheses about human drinking behaviour, and that it therefore fails to explain anything. An alternative theory of the distribution of alcohol consumption is outlined. The theory is founded on two basic hypotheses about human drinking behaviour. The theory is tested against survey data from different countries, and it is concluded that a strong collective components exists in human drinking habits. As a main rule, the population tends to move in concert up and down the scale of consumption.