Date of Award

Fall 8-14-2012

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

Department

Sociology

First Advisor

Dawn Baunach

Second Advisor

Anthony Hatch

Third Advisor

Wendy Simonds

Abstract

Gender theorists have long posited that the social construction of gender encourages women to embody specific ideals of femininity. Any circumstance or situation, then, that threatens a woman’s ability or capacity to fulfill these ideals is regarded as abnormal and often receives large amount of interest. This thesis provides a critical analysis of the gendered practices used in conjunction with the ideas, messages, and advice given to women with alcohol dependence. By doing a qualitative content analysis, I explored how the concepts of emphasized femininity are presented in self-help literatureforalcohol dependent women. My findings show that gendered ideas about alcoholic recovery are mainly constructed through white, heterosexual, middle-class lenses that perpetuate feminine subordination.

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