Dry with a Wink Journal Article uri icon



  • This is a study about competing subcultures in conflict over preferred definitions of social order. With recent heavy migration producing a demographic shift in the population, two polarized groups have arisen in the state of Oklahoma. The evolving struggle over the control of alcohol legislation (public drinking and selling liquor by the drink are illegal in this state) represents the clash of norms and values held by these competing factions. We examine the laws governing liquor, the patterns of law enforcement, and the interactional strategies by which these laws are circumvented. We find a compromised reality, where serving alcohol remains outlawed, but violations are predominantly “winked at” rather than prosecuted. Winking is seen to have two divergent functions: Manifestly, it benefits drinking groups by allowing them to engage quietly in a “deviant” activity, but its more powerful effect is to latently benefit drys by maintaining the existing social order—a legalistic dominance hierarchy where their norms and values are accorded superior status.

publication date

  • July 1, 1983

Date in CU Experts

  • November 20, 2013 4:42 AM

Full Author List


author count

  • 2

Other Profiles

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0098-3039

Additional Document Info

start page

  • 123

end page

  • 139


  • 12


  • 2