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«Back in the West»

Changing Lifestyles in Transforming Societies

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Airi-Alina Allaste

This book examines the changing lifestyles in transforming societies, focusing on the interplay of lifestyle choices, social status and the society as a whole. When individuals choose their careers, mates or networks to belong to and to identify with, they are influenced by rapid technological developments, economic uncertainty and other ongoing changes in society. On the other hand, by their choices they also construct new social realities. The book addresses lifestyles and social change in connection with a wide range of issues: belonging to different movements and networks; changes in gender order, work and partner choices; changes in home cultures and ways of residing; emerging translocal belonging and cross cultural relationships; consumption choices and construction of identities. The first part of the book gives the wider context within a longer perspective and the second part is focused on specific cases of lifestyle choices.

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Drinking culture among young Estonian adults: Maarja Kobin

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Drinking culture among young Estonian adults Maarja Kobin Introduction Recent studies (Beccaria 2010) have indicated that there is a trend towards more diversified drinking cultures in both traditionally ‘southern’ European and ‘northern’ European drinking regions. Estonia, above all, has been described as a country with a heavy drinking tradition, representing the Northern drinking culture. In order to fully understand drinking patterns in different countries, one needs to understand the underlying motives, beliefs, values and norms that con- stitute alcohol culture in everyday drinking situations, and which legitimise drinking habits. Everyday drinking is seen as something that is self-evident – drinking that is considered socially normal and acceptable. What is considered normal or abnormal depends on cultural traditions and different cultural contexts where drinking is practiced. From a micro-sociological perspective, and through in-depth research, this chapter explores the drinking practices of young people who, on the one hand, continue to be influenced by previously existing norms and values, but on the other hand, are the ones who are the most open-minded and receptive to new ideas and fashions, who are also integrated into different youth cultures and, therefore, are also capable of changing and creating new norms and values con- cerning alcohol consumption. The chapter explores the distinctive characteristics of present-day, socially accepted alcohol consumption practices in Estonia among young adults. More specifically, the purpose is to analyse the ritualistic function of drinking. The ritualistic function of drinking and ritualistic drinking practices in this article are seen as a ‘liminal phase’ that...

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