Moral norms in older Swedish women’s drinking narratives. Enduring patterns and successively new features
2012 (English)In: Nordic Studies on Alcohol and Drugs, ISSN 1455-0725, Vol. 29, no 4, 371-396 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
AIMS - To examine how the changes in women's relationship to alcohol during the 1960s appear in narratives of situated drinking occasions. DATA - Newly collected autobiographies written by women born between 1918 and 1951 are analysed using theories by William Labov on narrative construction and Kenneth Burke on the rhetoric of motives. RESULTS - The historically restrictive attitude to women at all drinking is present in the oldest women's narratives, while the liberalisation of attitudes to alcohol that took place in the 1960s likewise marks the narratives told by the younger women, even though they when writing are of pension able age. With the writers' diminishing age, the norms framing the narratives have changed, from sobriety among the oldest women to controlled moderation among the younger. And yet, the narratives also demonstrate a stable pattern of questioning women's drinking, although the focus has shifted from tasting alcohol at all to the state of becoming intoxicated. CONCLUSIONS - A controlling norm remains in place, which the women have internalised and made their own. The mitigating circumstances and the neutralising explanations that are presented throughout indicate that the women are conscious of the narratives' deviation from the prevailing norm, and show that women take a risk in drinking alcohol. When a woman drinks she risks her femininity.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Poland: Versita , 2012. Vol. 29, no 4, 371-396 p.
alcohol, public call for writing, auto-biographies, women, narrative analysis, gender
Sociology Substance Abuse
Research subject Sociology
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-74649DOI: 10.2478/v10199-012-0034-7ISI: 000318415300010OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-74649DiVA: diva2:510925
AuthorCount. 1;2012-03-192012-03-192013-06-10Bibliographically approved