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The Competent Drinker, the Authentic Person and the Strong Person: Lines of Reasoning in Young People’s Discussions About Alcohol
Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Sociology.
2006 (English)In: Journal of Youth Studies, ISSN 1367-6261, E-ISSN 1469-9680, Vol. 9, no 5, 515-538 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

This study examines young people's discussions about alcohol in an Internet chat room. I study how alcohol is meaningful to the young people through specifically focusing their understandings of the concepts control/loss of control, conscientiousness and maturity. I also study what relations of power are constructed among them. The results point to four different lines of reasoning about alcohol: the 'teetotaller argument', the 'age-distinction argument', the 'moderate drinking argument' and the 'getting drunk argument'. From each of these lines of reasoning to the next, there is a shift in the definition of 'the Others'—of those who are said to be immature. In three of the lines of reasoning—the teetotaller argument, the moderate drinking argument and the getting drunk argument—the young people describe the characteristics of what for them appears as an ideal person with ideal views on alcohol consumption and intoxication: the strong person, the competent drinker and the authentic person. In the concluding section of the paper, I discuss and compare these different lines of reasoning with each other and with previous research on young people and drinking.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2006. Vol. 9, no 5, 515-538 p.
National Category
Social Sciences
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-25882DOI: 10.1080/13676260601020973OAI: diva2:200734
Available from: 2006-04-12 Created: 2006-04-12 Last updated: 2011-02-24Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Female Licentiousness versus Male Escape?: Essays on Intoxicating Substance Use, Sexuality and Gender
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Female Licentiousness versus Male Escape?: Essays on Intoxicating Substance Use, Sexuality and Gender
2006 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

The purpose of this thesis is to study cultural aspects of alcohol and drug use in Sweden, and also to some extent in other countries. In the context of changing patterns of drinking and drug use in Sweden and in the rest of the world, such studies are increasingly important.

The thesis comprises four self-contained but interrelated studies. Each study, in different ways, addresses the question of cultural variation (within and between cultures) and the cultural position of intoxicating substances. Acknowledging that young people’s use of intoxicating substances as well as women’s and men’s use of such substances are important social policy issues, each of the four studies also relates to the position of either young people or the position of gender with regard to intoxicating substance use.

Study 1 investigates what it means to drink, take drugs and become intoxicated as understood from the official-organizational perspective of the FMN’s (Parents Against Drugs’) 2003 campaign directed towards teenagers´ parents. As a contrast to the hegemonic perspective presented by the organization in Study 1, Study 2 explicitly tries to find and describe different lines of reasoning with regard to alcohol use and intoxication among young people.

Study 3 investigates the link – so commonly referred to in the Western world – between drinking, drug use and intoxication, on the one hand, and sexuality and gender, on the other. Study 3 further tries to grasp why women who drink are considered bad both because they violate the norms of feminine appearance and because they are perceived as sexually promiscuous and “available”. Study 4 focuses on cultural variation in the intoxication – sexuality link. It uses cross-country comparisons and multiple regression analysis of data from 11 countries within and outside the West to examine the link between positive expectancies about the effects of drinking on sexual feelings, on the one hand, and drinking, on the other.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: Acta Universitatis Stockholmiensis, 2006. 168 p.
Stockholm studies in sociology, ISSN 0491-0885 ; N.S., 26
alcohol, drugs, intoxication, nature - culture, sexuality, gender, young people, Sweden
National Category
urn:nbn:se:su:diva-963 (URN)91-85445-28-2 (ISBN)
Public defence
2006-05-19, De Geersalen, Geovetenskapens hus, Svante Arrhenius väg 8 A, Stockholm, 10:00 (English)
Available from: 2006-04-12 Created: 2006-04-12 Last updated: 2012-10-05Bibliographically approved

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Bogren, Alexandra
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