“Suddenly a Binge Drinking Episode Has Happened to Him”: Locus of Control, Notion of Responsibility, Alcoholism and Suicide in the Taz Region, Yamal Nenets Autonomous Okrug

Open access

Abstract

Although the notion of responsibility is often invoked by mass-media reports, activists and lay people when discussing alcoholism and suicides, anthropological discussions of this topic seem to deliberately avoid the notion. Based on the example of the Taz Nenets of western Sibera, this paper* explores how cross-cultural differences in the notion of responsibility, if approached in a non-moralising way, can enrich our understanding of several aspects of the drinking and suicidal behaviours of native northerners. The Nenets seem to believe that both positive and negative events in their lives happen more due to chance or for highly localised reasons that they do not control rather than being caused by their own informed and wilful actions (external locus of control). Particularly, acts of suicide and binge drinking episodes just happen to people and, therefore, people cannot be held responsible for them. This attitude can be a compensatory mechanism for the flat attribution style observed among Nenets in previous studies. It should be taken into account in programs of suicide prevention and the treatment of alcoholism.

Abryutina, Larisa I. 1999. Narody Severa Rossii: pravo na zdorov’ye. Moskva. [Абрютина, Лариса И. 1999. Народы Севера России: право на здоровье. Москва.]

Arctic Human Development Report. 2004. Publication of the Sustainable Development Programme of the Arctic Council. Akureyri: Sefansson Arctic Institute.

Bentall, Richard P. 2004. Madness Explained: Psychosis and Human Nature. London; New York, NY: Penguin.

Berry, John W.; Ype H. Poortinga, Seger M. Breugelmans, Athanasios Chasiotis and David L. Sam. 2011. Cross-Cultural Psychology: Research and Applications. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/CBO9780511974274.

Bogoyavlenskiy, Dmitriy D. 2008. Narody severa Rossii: demograficheskiy profil’ na rubezhe vekov. – Vliyaniye global’nykh klimaticheskikh izmeneniy na zdorov’ye naseleniya rossiyskoy Arktiki, edited by B. A. Revich. Moskva: Publikatsiya rossiyskogo otdeleniya Organizatsii Ob’’yedinennykh Natsiy, 14–17. [Богоявленский, Дмитрий Д. 2008. Народы севера России: демографический профиль на рубеже веков. – Влияние глобальных климатических изменений на здоровье населения российской Арктики, отв. ред. Б. А. Ревич. Москва: Публикация российского отделения Организации Объединенных Наций, 14–17.]

Bogoyavlenskiy, Dmitriy D. and Aleksandr I. Pika. 1991. Nasil’stvennaya smertnost’ u narodov Severa (na primere Kamchatki i Chukotki). – Geografiya i khozyaystvo 4. Rayony prozhivaniya malochislennykh narodov Severa, edited by A. I. Chistobalev. Leningrad: GO SSSR, 162–182. [Богоявленский, Дмитрий Д. и Александр И. Пика. 1991. Насильственная смертность у народов Севера (на примере Камчатки и Чукотки). – География и хозяйство 4. Районы проживания малочисленных народов Севера, отв. ред. А. И. Чистобаев. Ленинград: ГО СССР, 162–182.]

Brown, Leslie, ed. 2009. Aristotle: Nicomachean Ethics. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Buchanan, Gregory McClellan and Martin E. P. Seligman, eds. 1995. Explanatory Style. Hillsdale: L. Erlbaum.

Douglas, Mary. 1968. Purity and Danger: An Analysis of Concept of Pollution and Taboo. London: Routledge & Kegan Paul.

Dowd, E. Thomas; Gary W. Lawson and Richard Petosa. 1986. Attributional Styles of Alcoholics. – The International Journal of the Addictions 21 (4–5): 589–593. DOI: https://doi.org/10.3109/10826088609083543.

Duttweiler, P. C. 1984. The Internal Control Index: A Newly Developed Measure of Locus of Control. – Educational and Psychological Measurement 44 (2): 209–221. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1177/0013164484442004.

Dyal, James A. 1984. Cross-Cultural Research with the Locus of Control Construct. – Research with the Locus of Control Construct 3. Extensions and Limitations, edited by H. M. Lefcourt. London: Academic Press, 209–306.

Eshleman, Andrew. 2014. Moral Responsibility. – The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy, edited by Edward N. Zalta. http://plato.stanford.edu/archives/sum2014/entries/moral-responsibility/ (accessed November 10, 2016).

Finn, Peter R. and R. O. Pihl. 1987. Men at High Risk for Alcoholism: The Effect of Alcohol on Cardiovascular Response to Unavoidable Shock. – Journal of Abnormal Psychology 96 (3): 230–236. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1037/0021-843X.96.3.230.

Istomin, Kirill V. 2011. “Atributivnyy stil’” i problema p’yanstva I samoubiystv sredi malochislennykh narodov severa i Sibiri. – Etnograficheskoye Obozreniye 2: 89–106. [Истомин, Кирилл В. 2011. «Атрибутивный стиль» и проблема пьянства и самоубийств среди малочисленных народов севера и Сибири. – Этнографическое Обозрение 2: 89–106.]

Istomin, Kirill. 2012. Once Again on the Problem of Alcoholism and Suicide Among the Indigenous Peoples of the Russian North: Can Attribution Style Be a Factor? – Sibirica 11 (3): 1–19.

Judge, Timothy A.; Amir Erez, Joyce E. Bono and Carl J. Thoresen. 2002. Are Measures of Self-Esteem, Neuroticism, Locus of Control, and Generalized Self-Efficacy Indicators of a Common Core Construct? – Journal of Personality and Social Psychology 83 (3): 693–710. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1037/0022-3514.83.3.693.

Kharyuchi, Galina P. 2001. Traditsii i innovatsii v kul’ture nenetskogo etnosa (vtoraya polovina XX veka). Tomsk: Izdatel’stvo tomskogo universiteta. [Харючи, Галина П. 2001. Традиции и инновации в культуре ненецкого этноса (вторая половина ХХ века). Томск: Издательство томского университета.]

Khomich, Lyudmila V. 1995. Nentsy. Ocherki traditsionnoy kul’tury. Sankt-Peterburg: Russkiy dvor. [Хомич, Людмила В. 1995. Ненцы. Очерки традиционной культуры. Санкт-Петербург: Русский двор.]

Klokov, Konstantin B. 1996. Kochevoye olenevodcheskoye naseleniye: otsenka vozmozhnostey etnosotsial’noy adaptatsii i razvitiya. Sankt-Peterburg: SPbU. [Клоков, Константин Б. 1996. Кочевое оленеводческое население: оценка возможностей этносоциальной адаптации и развития. Санкт-Петербург: СПбУ.]

Kozlov, A. I.; G. G. Vershubskaya, M. A. Kozlova and L. Shmit. 2002. Modernizatsionnyy stress u korennogo naseleniya severa Zapadnoy Sibiri. Moskva: IEA RAN. [Козлов, А. И.; Г. Г. Вершубская, М. А. Козлова и Л. Шмит. 2002. Модернизационный стресс у коренного населения севера Западной Сибири. Москва: ИЭА РАН.]

Lyarskaya, Yelena V. 1999. “Kompleks zhenskikh zapretov i pravil u nentsev Yamala. – Problemy sotsial’nogo i gumanitarnogo znaniya. Sbornik nauchnykh rabot 1. Sankt-Peterburg: Yevropeyckiy universitet, 272–292. [Лярская, Елена В. 1999. Комплекс женских запретов и правил у ненцев Ямала. – Проблемы социального и гуманитарного знания. Сборник научных работ 1. Санкт-Петербург: Европейский университет, 272–292.]

Lyarskaya, Elena. 2005. Zhenskiye zaprety i kompleks predstavleniy o nechistote u nentsev. – Antropologicheskiy Forum 2: 317–326. [Лярская, Елена В. 2005. Женские запреты и комплекс представлений о нечистоте у ненцев. – Антропологический Форум 2: 317–326.]

Miller, Dale T. 1978. What Constitutes a Self-Serving Attributional Bias? A Reply to Bradley. – Journal of Personality and Social Psychology 36 (11): 1221–1223. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1037/0022-3514.36.11.1221.

Miller, Dale T. and Michael Ross. 1975. Self-Serving Biases in the Attribution of Causality: Fact or Fiction? – Psychological Bulletin 82 (2): 213–225. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1037/h0076486.

Nichols, Shaun and Joshua Knobe. 2007. Moral Responsibility and Determinism: The Cognitive Science of Folk Intuitions. – Nous 41 (4): 663–685. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1468-0068.2007.00666.x.

Oettingen, Gabriele. 1995. Explanatory Style in the Context of Culture. – Explanatory Style, edited by Gregory McClellan Buchanan and Martin E. P. Seligman. London: Routledge, 209–224.

Peterson, Christopher; Amy Semmel, Carl von Baeyer, Lyn Y. Abramson, Gerald D. Metalsky and Martin E. P. Seligman. 1982. The Attribution Style Questionnaire. – Cognitive Therapy and Research 6 (3): 287–300. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/BF01173577.

Peterson, Christopher and Martin E. P. Seligman. 1985. The Learned Helplessness Model of Depression: Current Status of Theory and Research. – Handbook of Depression: Treatment, Assessment, and Research, edited by Edward E. Beckham and William R. Leber. Homewood, ILL: Dorsey Press, 914–939.

Peterson, Christopher; Steven F. Maier and Martin E. P. Seligman. 1993. Learned Helplessness: A Theory for the Age of Personal Control. New York, NY: Oxford University Press.

Peterson, Christopher. 1995. Explanatory Style and Health. – Explanatory Style, edited by Gregory McClellan Buchanan and Martin E. P. Seligman. London: Routledge, 233–246.

Peterson, Christopher; Gregory McClellan Buchanan and Martin E. P. Seligman. 1995. Explanatory Style: History and Evolution of the Field. – Explanatory Style, edited by Gregory McClellan Buchanan and Martin E. P. Seligman. London: Routledge, 1–20.

Pika, Alexandr I. 1987. Demograficheskaya politika v rayonakh prozhivaniya narodov Severa: problemy i perspektivy. – Regional’nye problemy sotsial’no-demograficheskogo razvitiya, edited by B. B. Prokhorov. Moskva: Nauka, 43–55. [Пика, Александр И. 1987. Демографическая политика в районах проживания народов Севера: проблемы и перспективы. – Региональные проблемы социально-демографического развития, отв. ред. Б. Б. Прохоров. Москва: Наука, 43–55.]

Pivneva, Yelena A. 2005. Etnodemograficheskiye aspekty problemy alkogolizma u malochislennykh narodov severa. – V poiskakh sebya: Narody Severa i Sibiri v postsovetskikh transformatsiyakh, edited by Y. A. Pivneva and D. A. Funk. Moskva: Nauka, 65–84. [Пивнева, Елена А. 2005. Этнодемографические аспекты проблемы алкоголизма у малочисленных народов севера. – В поисках себя: Народы Севера и Сибири в постсоветских трансформациях, отв. ред. Е. А. Пивнева и Д. А. Функ. Москва: Наука, 65–84.]

Robins, Clive J. 1988. Attributions and Depression: Why Is the Literature So Inconsistent? – Journal of Personality and Social Psychology 54 (5): 880–889. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1037/0022-3514.54.5.880.

Robins, Clive J. and Adele M. Hayes. 1995. The Role of Causal Attributions in the Prediction of Depression. – Explanatory Style, edited by Gregory McClellan Buchanan and Martin E. P. Seligman. London: Routledge, 71–98.

Rotter, Julian B. 1966. Generalized Expectancies for Internal Versus External Control of Reinforcement. – Psychological Monographs: General and Applied 80 (1): 1–28. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1037/h0092976.

Rotter, Julian B. 1975. Some Problems and Misconceptions Related to the Construct of Internal Versus External Control of Reinforcement. – Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology 43 (1): 56–67. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1037/h0076301.

Rotter, Julian B. 1990. Internal Versus External Control of Reinforcement: A Case History of a Variable. – American Psyhologist 45 (4): 489–493. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1037/0003-066X.45.4.489.

Ruehlman, Linda S.; Stephen G. West and Robert J. Pasahow. 1985. Depression and Evaluative Schemata. – Journal of Personality 53 (1): 46–92. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1467-6494.1985.tb00888.x.

Seligman, Martin E. P. 1978. Comment and Integration. – Journal of Abnormal Psychology 87 (1): 165–179. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1037/0021-843X.87.1.165.

Spillane, Nichea S. and Gregory T. Smith. 2007. A Theory of Reservation-Dwelling American Indian Alcohol Use Risk. – Psychological Bulletin 133 (3): 395–418. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1037/0033-2909.133.3.395.

Vitebsky, Piers and Sally Wolfe. 2001. The Separation of the Sexes Among Siberian Reindeer Herders. – Sacred Custodians of the Earth? Women, Spirituality and Environment, edited by Alaine Low and Soraya Tremayne. New York, NY: Berghan, 81–94.

Woolfolk, Robert L.; John M. Doris and John M. Darley. 2008. Identification, Situational Constraint, and Social Cognition: Studies in the Attribution of Moral Responsibility. – Experimental Philosophy, edited by Joshua Knobe and Shaun Nichols. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 61–80.

Journal Information

Metrics

All Time Past Year Past 30 Days
Abstract Views 0 0 0
Full Text Views 183 183 11
PDF Downloads 77 77 7