Women's Responsibilities, Freedoms, and Pleasures: An Analysis of Italian, Finnish and Swedish Women's Magazines' Alcohol-Related Advertisements from the 1960S to the 2000S

Tuesday, July 15, 2014: 10:30 AM
Room: Harbor Lounge A
Oral Presentation
Jukka TÖRRÖNEN , SoRAD/Centre for Social Research on Alcohol and Drugs, Stockholm University, Stockholm, Sweden
Sara ROLANDO , University of Helsinki, Italy
Since the 1960s, feminist movements have emphasized that men and women should be seen as equal in their roles as parents, breadwinners, and citizens. This conception is not confirmed by the images produced by advertising. The article presents an analysis of alcohol-related advertisements published in Finnish, Italian and Swedish women’s magazines from the 1960s to the 2000s. The advertisements are approached as representations of gendered performances in which gender is made visible “here and now” by placing women in particular subject positions (identities, gender roles) that are related to private or public spheres and associated with specific kinds of gender expectations and norms reflecting women’s shifting responsibilities, freedoms, and pleasures. The article asks what kind of drinking-related subject positions have been portrayed as desirable in women’s magazine advertisements over the past few decades and how those positions have changed as we move closer to the present day. The analysis reveals both continuity and variability in alcohol-related subject positions in Finnish, Italian and Swedish women’s magazine advertisements. It shows how women’s responsibilities, freedoms, and pleasures have expanded from the traditional domain of the private sphere to multiple new areas as Finland, Italy and Sweden have developed from modern societies to late-modern societies. However, the expansion of women’s identities has occurred differently in each geographical area. Furthermore, the analysis shows that the expansion of women’s identities does not mean that the traditional gender norms have disintegrated and been replaced by equal gender norms. Rather, it seems that traditional gender norms continue to be reproduced in alcohol-related advertising.