Drinking Patterns and Acculturation in Rural Buganda1


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    The field research for this study was supported by a National Science Foundation Institutional Grant and a grant from the Agricultural Development Council, Inc. We would like to thank both foundations. The senior author would also like to express his gratitude to the Makerere Institute of Social Research, Makerere University College, Kampala, Uganda, for their assistance during his tenure there as a Research Associate in 1967. We would also like to thank Wilifred Kawuma, Philip L. Kilbride, Vicent Matovu, Patricia Robbins, and Richard Sandee for their assistance in the collection and analysis of these materials. John Bregenzer offered comments. A version of this paper was presented at the Central States Anthropological Society Meetings, Detroit, Michigan, 1968.


Basic sociocultural changes are often reflected in changing drinking patterns. Data from rural Uganda suggests that with increasing acculturation, there is a trend toward informal drinking behavior, a preference for modern beverages, and the elaboration of drinking settings. Modern settings appear to provide important opportunities for access to the national culture. Results indicate that the marginal population, not the least or most acculturated, are the heaviest alcohol users. An application of item-analysis to acculturation scale construction and suggestions for further research are also presented.