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Normalitetens gränser: En fokusgruppstudie om alkoholkultur(er), genus- och åldersskapande
Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Sociology.
2014 (Swedish)Doctoral thesis, monograph (Other academic)Alternative title
The limits of normality : A focus group study on alcohol culture(s), and gender, and age constructions (English)
Abstract [en]

During the last decades, scholars have discussed the changes of Swedish alcohol culture. Among other things, it has been suggested that parallel with increased consumption levels men’s and women’s drinking is becoming more similar.

In connection with this discussion, the purpose of this thesis is to examine Swedish alcohol culture(s) by analysing the meanings that focus groups from different generations ascribe to drinking in relation to different life periods: childhood, adolescence and adulthood. More specifically, it aims to analyse how the interviewees specify and negotiate normative boundaries and self-presentations in relation to norms and discourses of gender and age. An essential part of the analysis is to examine differences within gender and age-groups, as well as the similarities between them.

The findings suggest that even though drinking patterns are changing in terms of quantity and choice of beverage, meanings, motives and norms seem to be rather stable – especially in regard to gender. Overall, a distinction is being made between men and women: Femininity is constructed in terms of control, responsibility and caring, and masculinity in terms of fearlessness, breaking of boundaries, and loss of control. Men’s and women’s drinking are also accounted for in different ways. While men’s drinking behaviours are excused with arguments about biology and hormones, women’s (anticipated) responsibility is explained with their connection to motherhood.

However; these norms vary in strength and are expressed in different ways, depending on the drinking norms of different life-periods; mainly moderate in childhood and adulthood, and mainly orientated to binge-drinking in adolescence. With regard to positive meanings ascribed to drinking, similarities between age and gender groups are also generally greater than the differences between them. Thus, gendered differences are mainly constructed in relation to behaviours that are perceived as risky or problematic.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: Department of Sociology, Stockholm University , 2014. , 263 p.
Dissertations at the Centre for Social Research on Alcohol and Drugs (SoRAD), ISSN 1650-819X ; 12
Keyword [en]
alcohol culture, gender, age, intersectionality, focus group interviews, narratives, discourses, self-presentations, norms, boundaries
National Category
Research subject
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-106262ISBN: 978-91-7447-949-2OAI: diva2:735604
Public defence
2014-09-06, hörsal 3, hus B, Universitetsvägen 10 B, Stockholm, 10:00 (Swedish)
Available from: 2014-08-15 Created: 2014-07-28 Last updated: 2014-09-09Bibliographically approved

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