Joanna Weiss

Fighting binge drinking in innovative ways

We think of anthropology as the study of faraway cultures, but sometimes, the most useful truths are close to home. So it might be at Dartmouth College, where a group of anthropology students is deep at work this semester, trying to figure out why college students drink too much.

In general, binge drinking isn’t seen as a mystery so much as an age-old fact, for which the response tends to range from “kids will be kids” to “woe is us.” Blame is often laid on immutable facts; a recent Rolling Stone article laid Dartmouth’s heavy-drinking culture on the fact that there’s not much to do in Hanover, New Hampshire. (Funny, plenty of frat kids in Boston still find reasons to drink themselves stupid.)

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