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The Institution of Friendship and Drinking Patterns in Iceland

Ann Pinson
Anthropological Quarterly
Vol. 58, No. 2 (Apr., 1985), pp. 75-82
DOI: 10.2307/3317845
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/3317845
Page Count: 8
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Since scans are not currently available to screen readers, please contact JSTOR User Support for access. We'll provide a PDF copy for your screen reader.
The Institution of Friendship and Drinking Patterns in Iceland
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Abstract

This paper outlines the institution of friendship as "partnership" in Iceland, "friends" emerging from working groups, siblings who may also share a working relationship, and school classmates, who are designated by kin terms. Drinking and drunkenness are two separate social rituals that reflect different social relationships. The actual drinking groups are kin or "quasi-kin" who share living accomodations and working arrangements. "Drunkenness" is a status reserved for periodically scheduled public events where an individual encounters persons outside the all-important "kin" and drinking group. The paper outlines Icelandic attitudes towards alchol consumption from the nineteenth and early twentieth century, when temperance and prohibition movements resulted in the earliest prohibition legislation, and it demonstrates that the ambivalence surrounding the "alcohol issue" is still functional in the present-day drinking patterns there.

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