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Drink Sluts, Brats and Immigrants as Others: An analysis of Swedish media discourse on gender, alcohol and rape
Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Centre for Social Research on Alcohol and Drugs (SoRAD).
Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Centre for Social Research on Alcohol and Drugs (SoRAD).
2011 (English)In: Feminist Media Studies, ISSN 1468-0777, E-ISSN 1471-5902, Vol. 12, no 1Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Drawing on an analysis of the media debate on two Swedish rape cases involving alcohol, the present article argues that social norms and power structures are made visible both when debaters ascribe explanatory power to alcohol and when they do not. Using feminist intersectional theory,we argue that when debaters employ the concepts of “foreign culture” and “jet-set drinking culture,” respectively, to explain the rapes, they simultaneously (re)produce stereotypical discourses on gender, sexuality, class and ethnicity/nationality. The troublesome positions of the Immigrant, the Drink Slut and the Brat symbolize how these discourses intersect in the specific cases. To understand why alcohol is central in explaining rape in a fashionable area, but not in a socially disadvantaged area, we suggest that the official image of Sweden as a gender-equal, sexually liberal and multicultural society with small class differences blocks discussion of existing inequalities within the country. When rape happens in a place constructed as a “Swedish middle and upper-class area,” alcohol and intoxication are used to symbolize the “uncivilized,” unpleasant and malicious among Swedish men. When rape happens in “socially disadvantaged neighbourhoods” populated by “immigrants,” the unpleasant instead resides in the “foreign culture.”

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Routledge , 2011. Vol. 12, no 1
Keyword [en]
gender, alcohol, discourse analysis, sexuality, rape, intersectionality
National Category
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-56517DOI: 10.1080/14680777.2011.558344OAI: diva2:411702
Exclusion and inclusion in the late welfare state: the case of alcohol and drugsChanges in the cultural position of drinking
Available from: 2011-04-19 Created: 2011-04-19 Last updated: 2011-04-29Bibliographically approved

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Bernhardsson, JosefinBogren, Alexandra
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