Criminology Essay Example

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Excessive Alcohol Consumption

There are various social issues that arise in any setting that affects people either negatively or positively. Various explanations and theories could be attached to a certain occurrences It may not be the best thing to hear, but the fact is that the Australians have a very serious problem with alcohol. Alcohol-related harms cost the state a lot, which includes crime, health problems, accident, workforce issues and health problems. In addition, there are tangible costs that are associated to this such as suffering and pain.

The many problems that results from excessive alcohol consumption are not new. Other, obvious but ignored, issues are awareness lifestyles, safety and health risks are associated with the deep entrenchment of excessive consumption of alcohol in the Australian culture. However, when the consumption is regulated, there has been resultant of social enjoyment and the industries have been able to thrive around it, particularly the wine industry. (Braig, 2012 July 1)

In newspaper article by Levy (2014, January 14), the issue of alcoholism in Australia is addressed with a reference to what they call ‘social media craze’. This concept is used to cover the situation where people are given encouragement to film themselves hugely taking alcohol, including whole bottles of spirits. As the paper reported, the police those who in the pursuit of participating in the ultimate drinking game video filmed themselves literally breaking the law. Many comments to discourage such games are in the paper with Professor Farrel comparing that with some of the competitive games that have an association with the college fraternities. He comments that there are many who die every year from alcohol poisoning hence it shouldn’t be accepted.

In a TV show episode of The Drum, the Prof. Farell (2014, January 13) engaged in a discussion of the trends in the related alcohol violence with the host Steve Cannane. He explained that the tends that have been observed are very disturbing with the rise of alcoholism consumption reaching a disturbing level. The comments that were given by the professor were similar to an interview the Radio National Bush Telegraph made to discuss the findings on rates of risky drinking and alcohol related harms in Australia presented by Cameron Wilson (2014, February 7). Both of these were directed towards giving a stand on the need to be sober in the dealings of alcoholism in Australia through justification with data. The direction of talk was intended to make people and the government in general to take the correct stands in these matters.

The Herald Sun report on this issue of alcoholism in Australia is alarming (AAP, 2013 April 9). The drinking culture has permiated through all the structures of the Austalia society. They explains that top drinker (heavy drinkers) are continuously drinking more with the women and men drinking at almost a similar rate. Cordorey (2013, Jan 31) in the Sydney morning Herald wrote that researchers from the National Drug and Alcohol Research Center discovered that the general societal traits predisposed the students to drugs and alcohol problems. They wanted to establish whether early intervention was able to prevent them. In an online post, Dr. Livingston (2013, February 26) discusses the violence that result from the rise in alcoholism in the Australian community in general. He explains that the effects of high consumption will generally result to more harm being experienced in the society.

In a report by Dr. Herron (2014 , May 02) published by the Australian National Council on Drugs (ANCD), he wrote to thank the media because of their efforts to bring awareness that surrounds the alcohol and drug issues. The issues that relates to alcoholism as he advocated needed to be held in a responsible and a sensitive manner. He expressed the willingness that ANCD has in helping in the efforts of solving this problem that is so prevalent in Australia. The media was requested to show professionalism when handling the issues that surrounds alcoholism. He also provided an outline that guides on matters on drugs and drug addiction thgat6 are in the Australian Press Councils guidelines.

The media addresses the problem of alcoholism in the society as broadly being applicable to the larger society. There is intended persuasion to take stands or view from the already gained results or the purpose for which the news are being given out. The direction taken is that of showing that the society in general is being affected by the identified problem. An integration is drawn where the benefits achieved when a certain notion is advocated as beneficial to the whole society when a particular position is achieved. There are some who will generally advocate for the society or the government to take quick action while others are just informative and seeks to just express the situation as it is. Other intentions are directed towards giving hope that the society will address its issues progressively despite any current tragedies experienced. It is more of a passive approach.

From a functionalist point of view, there is interdependence in every aspect of the society thus contributing to the functioning of the society as a whole. The main ideas that underlies the functionalist theory are that the in the society, the particular individuals occupy the roles that are fixed. The society is viewed as an entity that is larger than the sum of its parts. There are conceptualized social facts adopted as social patterns that are external to individuals. There is an established consensus in the community some particular values where disorganization and adjustment occurs so at to attain an equilibrium. This results due to the discovery of the social basis of the human behavior. (Baert & Da Silva 2010)

Functionalism has received criticism for neglecting the negative functions. There is a claim by the critics that the perspective that criticism takes justifies status quo and complacency as far as the members of the society are concerned. It is argued that it does not allow people to take an active role in changing the environment of the society, even though bringing about such a change is beneficial to them. The stand of functionalism is that which sees the active social changes as being undesirable since the particular points of the society will naturally compensate for any arising problem. (Bottomore, 2010)

In this case of alcoholism, there can be functionalism explanation that can be attached to it. There can be an established social consensus where reduction of excessive alcohol consumption can reach the whole range of the society for the better. Headed by the government, or the state, there is constructive awareness that is provided to the society through the media on the harmful effects of alcoholism. The government also regulate the wine industry on the policies that the advertisement that it has to offer. When there is sustainable alcohol consumption in the economy, the finances that would otherwise be channeled towards supporting the alcohol-related issues like accidents will be used in other beneficial sectors.

Following the functionalist theory application further in the issues of alcoholism, the society benefits as a whole where people’s productivity at the work-place is boosted for example reduction of absenteeism cases related to alcohol. The violence cases that are related to alcoholism are also highly minimized. The people generally benefit with the students at school becoming more responsible and law abiding. If something is distabilized in the society, there is readjustment in the whole system bringing a new order, stability and productivity.

It can be concluded that the functionalist theory claims is able to address the condition of the society in to some extent. Some of the concepts, however, may be hypothetical. There should be an objective analysis of a situation therefore to ensure that all the issues are dealt with such that no issue is left hanging. The association with other theories should make an explanation to become comprehensive and logical leaving no gap. The conflict theory, for an example, would have advocated for a different solution and trend to these issue altogether.


AAP (September 4, 2013). Heavy boozers drink rest under table: Herald Sun new. Retrieved (September 4, 2013).

Baert, P., & Da Silva, F. C. (2010). Social theory in the twentieth century and beyond. Polity.

Bottomore, T. B. (2010). Sociology as social criticism. Routledge.

Braig, P. (2012, July 1). Australias’s problem with alcohol must be faced: The Sidney Morning Herald

Cordorey, A. (2013, Jan 31) Behaviour study aims to discover children at risk of drug and alcohol problems: The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved

Farell, M. & Cannane, S. (2014, January 13) [ television show episode]: The Drum.

Herron, J. (2014 , May 02) published by the Australian National Council on Drugs (ANCD), Media reporting on drug and alcohol issues Retrieved

Levy, M. (2014, January 2014): Extreme skolling: warning of fatal consequences as Neknominate craze takes social media by storm: The Sidney Morning Herald.

Livingstone, M. (2013, Feb 26): Alcohol-fuelled violence on the rise despite falling consumption. Retrieved

Wilson , C.(2014, February 7 ): Rural drinking Behaviours Australia: Radio National Bush Telegraph. Retreived from