Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Research Blog #3: Privatization and Alcohol Abuse Among College Students

The two topics of privatization and alcohol abuse among college students may seem completely separate, but it is possible that one could be a result of another. "According to Community Guide rules of evidence, there is strong evidence that privatization of retail alcohol sales leads to increases in excessive alcohol consumption" (Hahn et. al.). The study finds that privatizing the sale of alcohol leads to increases of consumption across the board, no matter which type of alcohol is privatized. This is due to less government regulation and interference. Government control over the sale and regulation of alcohol generally decreases consumption, and when it becomes privatized, sales and consumption skyrocket. Alcohol abuse, as the number one cause of preventable death and disability, should be regulated by the government in order to cut down on the massive toll that the substance takes on the US population, especially among students. The increasing trend among states to leave alcohol sales in the hands of the businesses that sell it is a concerning, yet unsurprising fact when looked at as a whole. To me, it just seems as though we as a society are more interested in making money than protecting other human beings.


1 comment:

  1. I think this is a red herring. What that article is talking about is places where the state or country directly controls alcohol sales (such as Pennsylvania, to give a local example) and then moves to a more "private" system like the majority of states have, where the state itself does not sell alcohol but regulates private vendors. This is definitely a case of privatization, of course, but is not parallel to the question of how the privatization of higher education might affect alcohol consumption.

    There are a few ways that privatization of higher education affects alcohol. The main one is set forth in Armstrong and Hamilton's book and could be your reference: that alcohol lubricates the "party pathway" through college, and privatized schools are more likely to help build or tacitly support the party pathway. A&H cite Sperber's "Beer and Circus" as their main source, and you should look at that book. I brought it to the last class for you, but you can also find an excerpt on our Sakai site under Resources -- supplmental readings.