Getting Wasted: Why College Students Drink Too Much and Party So Hard

Getting Wasted: Why College Students Drink Too Much and Party So Hard

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by Thomas Vander Ven
     
 

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Most American college campuses are home to a vibrant drinking scene where students frequently get wasted, train-wrecked, obliterated, hammered, destroyed, and decimated. The terms that university students most commonly use to describe severe alcohol intoxication share a common theme: destruction, and even after repeated embarrassing, physically unpleasant, and

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Overview

Most American college campuses are home to a vibrant drinking scene where students frequently get wasted, train-wrecked, obliterated, hammered, destroyed, and decimated. The terms that university students most commonly use to describe severe alcohol intoxication share a common theme: destruction, and even after repeated embarrassing, physically unpleasant, and even violent drinking episodes, students continue to go out drinking together. In Getting Wasted, Thomas Vander Ven provides a unique answer to the perennial question of why college students drink.

Vander Ven argues that college students rely on “drunk support:” contrary to most accounts of alcohol abuse as being a solitary problem of one person drinking to excess, the college drinking scene is very much a social one where students support one another through nights of drinking games, rituals and rites of passage. Drawing on over 400 student accounts, 25 intensive interviews, and one hundred hours of field research, Vander Ven sheds light on the extremely social nature of college drinking. Giving voice to college drinkers as they speak in graphic and revealing terms about the complexity of the drinking scene, Vander Ven argues that college students continue to drink heavily, even after experiencing repeated bad experiences, because of the social support that they give to one another and due to the creative ways in which they reframe and recast violent, embarrassing, and regretful drunken behaviors. Provocatively, Getting Wasted shows that college itself, closed and seemingly secure, encourages these drinking patterns and is one more example of the dark side of campus life.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

“Vander Ven analyzes the college drinking culture in an entirely new way --- through the eyes of college drinkers themselves. In doing so, he brings a unique voice to the college drinking debate, which will shape the discussion for decades to come. This is a must read for anyone who wants to understand college drinking and its consequences.”

-Kathleen A. Bogle,author of Hooking Up: Sex, Dating, and Relationships on Campus

Getting Wasted weaves many detailed stories of college drunkenness into a compelling account of its communal nature. Students don’t drink alone or get drunk alone. They do it together and the togetherness helps explain their otherwise baffling, self-destructive activities. This book is must reading for anyone interested in college students, drinking, and the combination of the two.” -Howard Becker,author of Outsiders: Studies In The Sociology Of Deviance

"The book offers a realistic portrayal of socially bonding drinking behaviors and attitudes. Vander Ven suggests stellar ways campuses can reduce the harm of excessive drinking."-Library Journal

"The book is worth a read to get students' perspectives on the binge-drinking culture, and provoke thought on how to address the problems that stem from it."-Teresa Malcolm,National Catholic Reporter

"[Thomas Vander Van's] book is an imoprtant contribution to understanding this social problem."-Society

"Vander Ven...leads the reader through a well-researched and comprehensive overview of college drinking...I would urge anyone preparing for college, or preparing another for college, to read this book."-John S. Wodarski,Contemporary Psychology

Library Journal
Vander Ven (sociology & anthropology, Ohio Univ.; Working Mothers and Juvenile Delinquency) delves into well-trod territory, though with a somewhat new perspective and research motive. While previous scholarly efforts have focused on binge drinking and its inherent risks, Vander Ven focuses on the social structure, meaning, and implication of drinking behaviors. With an intended audience of researchers, students, and parents, as well as college administrators, the book recounts the self-reported alcohol-related rationalizations and outcomes of over 400 college students at three different campuses. The author focuses on the impetus for drinking and the important roles codrinkers play, the range of activities that can result during a bout of drinking (fun to potentially fatal), and the ensuing impact and result of the drinking episode. This is not a comfortable read. And yet despite limited analysis and an academic's awkward touch on somewhat questionable youth-culture language, the book does offer a realistic portrayal of socially bonding drinking behaviors and attitudes. In the end Vander Ven suggests stellar ways campuses can reduce the harm of excessive drinking. VERDICT Recommended for sociologists, university administrators, and college-age students.—Jewell Anderson, Armstrong Atlantic State Univ. Lib., Savannah

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780814724149
Publisher:
New York University Press
Publication date:
08/15/2011
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
229
Sales rank:
1,186,416
File size:
3 MB

What People are saying about this

From the Publisher

“Vander Ven analyzes the college drinking culture in an entirely new way —- through the eyes of college drinkers themselves. In doing so, he brings a unique voice to the college drinking debate, which will shape the discussion for decades to come. This is a must read for anyone who wants to understand college drinking and its consequences.”

-Kathleen A. Bogle,author of Hooking Up: Sex, Dating, and Relationships on Campus

“A book of enduring significance, persuasive enough to reframe how a social problem is fundamentally understood. Vander Ven’s analysis deepens our understanding of college drinking, how it works and its appeal.”

-Amy Best,author of Fast Cars, Cool Rides: The Accelerating World of Youth and Their Cars

Getting Wasted weaves many detailed stories of college drunkenness into a compelling account of its communal nature. Students don’t drink alone or get drunk alone. They do it together and the togetherness helps explain their otherwise baffling, self-destructive activities. This book is must reading for anyone interested in college students, drinking, and the combination of the two.” -Howard Becker,author of Outsiders: Studies In The Sociology Of Deviance

"The book offers a realistic portrayal of socially bonding drinking behaviors and attitudes. Vander Ven suggests stellar ways campuses can reduce the harm of excessive drinking."-Library Journal,

"The book is worth a read to get students' perspectives on the binge-drinking culture, and provoke thought on how to address the problems that stem from it."-Teresa Malcolm,National Catholic Reporter

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