10. Cafés and the Culture of Drink

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France Since 1871 (HIST 276)

Because drinking is such an integral part of French culture, alcohol abuse has been historically ignored. Although there have been celebrated attempts to address this problem, such as Zola’s L’Assomoir, it is only in the past five or ten years that the government has seriously tried to tackle the problem of alcoholism. One of the major ways in which alcohol is embedded in the cultural identity of the country is the close association of certain wines and liquors with their regions of production. Likewise, different types of bars serve as loci for social interaction, and have always played a central role in rural as well as urban life.

00:00 – Chapter 1. The Locales of French Drinking: A Dictionary of Café Culture
12:09 – Chapter 2. The Mid-Nineteenth Century Wine Surge: Developing Modes of Production and Consumption
26:53 – Chapter 3. Representations of Drinking Culture in Art and Literature
37:17 – Chapter 4. Regional Rates of Consumption
43:21 – Chapter 5. Drinking in France Today: Legislation and Restaurant Culture

Complete course materials are available at the Open Yale Courses website: http://open.yale.edu/courses

This course was recorded in Fall 2007.