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Feb. 27, 2013: Kristin Ogilvie presents 'Negotiating Boundaries of Legal and Illegal Drinking in Rural Alaska'

by Michelle Saport  |   

Wednesday, Feb. 27, 4 p.m.
Beatrice McDonald Hall, Room 104


The Anthropology Department will be sponsoring a public talk by Kristin Ogilvie, candidate for a faculty position in cultural anthropology. The title and abstract for her talk are as provided below.

"Negotiating Boundaries of Legal and Illegal Drinking in Rural Alaska"
Kristin Ogilvie, Ph.D., explores the complexities of local alcohol policy, the practice of drinking in rural Alaska and the perpetuation of drinking-related problems and health disparities. Alaska's local-options law, which empowers local communities to restrict alcohol, has been shown to reduce injuries and injury-related deaths in isolated communities. Despite these reductions and the fact that most residents of these rural communities are alcohol abstainers, alcohol misuse remains a significant community and public health concern. Alcohol use persists in local-option communities with alcohol consumers traveling to other communities that lack restrictions, through a thriving bootleg industry of both illegal importation and manufacture and in the misuse of products like disinfectant spray that contain denatured alcohol. Based on field research and interviews with community residents, Ogilvie highlights the contested standpoints on alcohol use in rural Alaska and the rational actions taken both by consumers of alcohol in negotiating the boundaries of alcohol legality and by those who support prohibiting its use. The analysis suggests that more comprehensive strategies to complement local-options laws are needed to address community concerns about alcohol misuse and to lessen health disparities associated with alcohol use in rural Alaska.

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February Archive