CFP AAA 2017: Work, Stress, and Alcohol Use

AAA 2017 Call for Papers

Work, Stress, and Alcohol Use: Papers in Honor of Genevieve M. Ames

Organizer: Michael Duke, University of Memphis (

A pioneering anthropologist in the field of alcohol research, Genevieve Ames’ groundbreaking work explored drinking behaviors as a cultural norm and social practice among a range of blue collar and service sector workers, including the military, in the United States. Specifically, her ethnographic and mixed method studies unpacked alcohol use as a vehicle for sociability, solidarity, and workplace advancement, an expression of gendered forms of comportment, and as a manifestation of organizational and occupational culture. More important, her work focused on drinking as a form of self-medication for addressing the stresses of job insecurity, difficult or exploitative working conditions, discrimination, and the sometimes substantial toll that particular occupations take on family life. In keeping with her long-term commitment to working people, Dr. Ames research was designed not only to advance social theory, but to inform policy for improving the well-being of workers and their families. This panel brings together a diverse set of papers exploring the intersection of work, stress, and alcohol use, a theme that occupied Genevieve Ames throughout her long career as an anthropologist and public health research scientist. In particular, the presentations reflect on the ways in which work stress and drinking behaviors reflect global changes in labor practices (e.g., neoliberalism, outsourcing, the growth of contingent or contract labor, the marginalization of trade unions) among particular groups of workers.