Gender and Alcohol: The Swedish Press Debate
2011 (English)In: Journal of Gender Studies, ISSN 0958-9236, E-ISSN 1465-3869, Vol. 20, no 2, 155-169 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
The dominant approach to gender in alcohol research still conceives of gender in terms of binary roles and looks for explanations for gender differences in drinking. This paper challenges the binary approach, and instead analyzes the categorization of gender as created in Swedish newspaper stories about alcohol, published between 2000 and 2008. Specific categories examined include “responsible mothers”, “responsible parents”, “party girls”, “career women with drinking problems”, “violent men who drink” and “beer-drinking, sexist male athletes”. Based on this examination, the paper discusses how the media stories do and/or undo gender and how they encourage readers to act by the categories of drinkers that they describe. The study shows that the Swedish media stories produce multiple ways of interpreting drinking. Some of the stories undo gender through linking “male” behaviour (drinking heavily) to female bodies, while others undo gender by treating parenthood as more important than gender. Importantly, however, other stories reproduce the discourse of heteronormativity and gender binarism. The study suggests that analyses of media texts need to take the complexity of ‘undoing gender’ into account, for example by avoiding the assumption that gender is either undone or reproduced.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2011. Vol. 20, no 2, 155-169 p.
doing/undoing gender, media, alcohol, discourse, policy, Sweden
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-60040DOI: 10.1080/09589236.2011.565196ISI: 000299673500004OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-60040DiVA: diva2:432891