Alcoholism in Russia (Outline Assignment)

by JVoisard on February 2, 2016 - 12:17am


                The topic of my research paper will be the major social problem that is alcoholism in Russia. Although it is known that the rate of alcohol consumption has been historically high in this northern country, this problem seems to be getting worse as time passes. Alcohol consumption per capita has risen by a factor of 1.4 between 1989 and 2008, reaching a level of 15L of pure alcohol that is 1.9 times higher than the limit of 8L stated as dangerous by the WHO (Zaigraev, 2010, p. 4).

                To better outline this phenomenon, my essay will be of an analytical nature. This will allow me to look at this problem in more depth than i could have if my essay would have been a comparative one, to contrast.

                Alcoholism is deffinitly a social issue in the Russian Federation. This can be argued because we are not only talking about a few Russians that are drinking more than they should; we are are facing a staggering proportion of more or less 3.4% of the population which has the desease of alcoholism. This figure is 1.5 to 2 times higher than for the rest of European countries (Zaigraev, 2010, p. 4). Furthermore, up until the mid-1990s, alcohol-related death causes accounted for more or less 30% of all deaths per year in Russia (Nemstov, 2002, p. 1422).



- What are the historical factors that can help us understand why alcohol consumption is so prominent in Russia today?

- In what ways does alcohol abuse among the Russian population pose a threat to the health (here meant in a larger sense than just that of personal well-being) of their nation?

- What are the different solutions that are and should be applied in order to solute to this long-lasting problem?



The groups that will be analyzed in my paper will be of course the russian population, health organizations that have a saying in this situation, and the governments that ruled Russia (including Imperial, Soviet, and Modern Russia).




Zaigraev, G. G. (2010). Alcoholism and Drunkenness in Russia. Sociological Research, 49(6), 3-18. doi:10.2753/SOR1061        -0154490601

Nemtsov, A. (2002). Alcohol-related human losses in Russia in the 1980s and 1990s. Addiction97(11), 1413.


You seems on a very good start with your outline which is well organized. We can easily see with the statistics that you included in it that your research is well Advanced. Although you state that your essay will have an analytical perspective you could still try to compare with other countries the statistics in order to illustrate the importance of this social issue rooted in Russia. That being said, you are on a good track, keep going!

Hi JVoisard, firstly, I appreciate your interest in the problem of alcohol abuse, a social issue worth addressing due to its impact on physical and mental well-being of the population. However, as your essay is of analytical nature, looking at this issue from diverse perspectives, such as a gender one may deepen your readers’ understanding. According to a U.N national development report, men are particularly hard hit by the overconsumption of alcohol. It is thus interesting to explore the link between men’s alcohol consumption and their beliefs about masculinity. In fact, as the man box, which is a series of rules for “acting like a man”, suggests that a real man should be emotionless. Men who seek to fit in the masculine model are discouraged express their feelings. Therefore, being drunk can be a mask under which they can temporarily relieve their emotional burdens. In other words, "drinking to get drunk" can be considered as a mean that allows men to protect their masculine identity. Furthermore, since parenting is still seen as a relatively feminine task in our society, men feel the need to have their own time, during which they are cut off from the care-taker role. Drinking, a culturally portrayed symbol of manliness, is certainly a way to spend their own time in order to reestablish their masculinity. Finally, as male dominance is celebrated by hegemonic masculinity, some men tend to show their dominance through drinking capacity, which according to them, also reflects their capacity in other domains.

There is an extended reading about the topic that may be interesting for you to take a look:

Works Cited
Jakobsson, Annika, Gunnel Hensing, and Fredrik Spak. "The Role Of Gendered Conceptions In Treatment Seeking For Alcohol Problems." Scandinavian Journal Of Caring Sciences 22.2 (2008): 196-202. Academic Search Premier. Web. 8 Apr. 2016.

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