Perkins address featured in Scottish paper – Hobart and William Smith Colleges \
The HWS Update

Perkins address featured in Scottish paper

Professor of Anthropology and Sociology H. Wesley Perkins is featured in a story in the Main Features section of the Tuesday, Oct. 16 issue of The Herald, a daily newspaper printed in Glasgow and circulated throughout Scotland.

The article addresses the social norms approach to alcohol abuse, and raises the possibility that public health strategists in Scotland could benefit from overthrowing “what he catchily dubs 'the reign of error.'”

Perkins suggests that it's the national “understanding of the problem that needs to change. … It's not about changing the culture, but changing the perception of the culture.”

He is scheduled to deliver a keynote address at a conference, “Everybody's Doing It?” on Monday, Oct. 22 in the new Parliament Building in Edinburgh. His talk is part of the initial observance of Alcohol Awareness Week, Oct. 21-27.

Perkins, a member of the HWS faculty since 1978, holds a bachelor's degree from Purdue as well as two master's and a doctorate from Yale. He popularized the Social Norms theory with work beginning more than two decades ago, and in collaboration with Professor of Chemistry David Craig, has received numerous awards for its applications to preventing alcohol abuse and other risk behaviors.

Read Calling time on problem thinking.