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Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/1807/19206

Title: Mores of Addiction: Alcohol, Femininity, and Social Transformation in Western Ukraine
Authors: Murney, Maureen Ann
Advisor: Lambek, Michael
Department: Anthropology
Keywords: gender
Issue Date: 2-Mar-2010
Abstract: Since the Austro-Hungarian and Tsarist eras, men’s intoxication has been deemed ‘masculine’ and women’s sobriety ‘feminine’ in western Ukraine; however, these ideologies are being rewritten to fit the new, post-socialist environment and to underscore a divergence from the Soviet past. While men are judged based on their ability to function after imbibing copious amounts of alcohol, women are explicitly expected to embody two stereotypes: the ‘Berehynia’ (a recently reformulated goddess of family and nation) and the ‘Barbie’ (a more globally-informed image). Digression from the ‘Barbie’ model is used as evidence to render public diagnoses of addiction, while the ‘Berehynia’ model underscores the sentiment that “we are not allowed to be weak.” Women are expected to be stronger than men; indeed, women are widely regarded as the carriers of morality. While men’s addiction is often met with sympathy – and linked to a presumed, inherent inability to cope with social, political and economic upheaval – addicted women are deemed to have consciously abandoned their femininity, their families, and their nation. These ideologies deeply affect the experiences of addicted people. In particular, women’s addiction is severely stigmatized, and they are extremely reluctant to “confess” and seek treatment. Based upon 14 months of ethnographic fieldwork, this thesis explores the gendered conceptualizations of ‘moral’ and ‘immoral’ that are being formulated with respect to drinking and addiction, and how these concepts inform the variety of addiction treatments that are available. In so doing, this analysis illuminates what is at stake for both the stigmatizers and stigmatized, and more specifically, the multiple ways that gender, drinking, and addiction have become implicated in constructions of the Ukrainian nation and state.
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/1807/19206
Appears in Collections:Doctoral
Department of Anthropology - Doctoral theses

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