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Stigma and delight Dr. Patsy Staddon University of Plymouth

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1 Stigma and delight Dr. Patsy Staddon University of Plymouth Patsy.staddon@plymouth.ac.uk

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3 Escaping from social expectations is fun …I absolutely love feeling……well, drunk! (research respondent) …I absolutely love feeling……well, drunk! (research respondent) Ive got friends who do exactly that [so I] just go out and let my hair down and get drunk and dance around for hours (research respondent) Ive got friends who do exactly that [so I] just go out and let my hair down and get drunk and dance around for hours (research respondent) Being drunk … its a brazen refusal to be quiet, well-behaved and ladylike... Femininity... relies on, is defined by, inhibition (Lawson 2000). Being drunk … its a brazen refusal to be quiet, well-behaved and ladylike... Femininity... relies on, is defined by, inhibition (Lawson 2000).

4 Why alcohol presents a special threat Our legalised drug of choice Our legalised drug of choice Public health model of how to use it attempts to limit its role in social life (Hunt and Barker 2001) Public health model of how to use it attempts to limit its role in social life (Hunt and Barker 2001) It may be presented as potential enemy of health and order It may be presented as potential enemy of health and order Particular fears expressed for safety of young women who get drunk Particular fears expressed for safety of young women who get drunk Shaming and stigmatising of this group in Press and in treatment Shaming and stigmatising of this group in Press and in treatment

5 Distaste at unfeminine loss of control

6 Enjoyment of alcohol includes relaxing of usual constraints Most cultures recognise role of substances Most cultures recognise role of substances But all limit who can use them and how But all limit who can use them and how Greatest freedom to use likely to be given to most powerful group (e.g. men) Greatest freedom to use likely to be given to most powerful group (e.g. men) Least likely to be young females Least likely to be young females Problematic as they acquire greater independence and access to substances Problematic as they acquire greater independence and access to substances

7 So: DH message: Safe, sensible, social…attempts persuasion

8 Misses the point! Getting drunk offers women escape from iconic role, in which: Getting drunk offers women escape from iconic role, in which: Less freedom to act out Less freedom to act out Denied equal moral worth (Lewis 2009) Denied equal moral worth (Lewis 2009) Greater stigmatisation of any Greater stigmatisation of any deviance deviance Self-empowerment or severity of engagement ? Self-empowerment or severity of engagement ?

9 Stigma as social control Deviant behaviour may be called illness Deviant behaviour may be called illness Mutual aid model of treatment: internalised moral opprobrium Mutual aid model of treatment: internalised moral opprobrium Functions as lay explanation of unsuitable behaviour ( Rogers and Pilgrim 2010 ) Functions as lay explanation of unsuitable behaviour ( Rogers and Pilgrim 2010 ) Belief systems have enormous power over how we see mental health (Beresford 2005) and substance use (Staddon 2005) Belief systems have enormous power over how we see mental health (Beresford 2005) and substance use (Staddon 2005) Treatment as retribution (Hannah-Moffat 2001) Treatment as retribution (Hannah-Moffat 2001)

10 Pleasure in defiance and self- acknowledgementeven delight? I think I do sometimes see it as allowing me to access something thats not necessarily accessible otherwise (research respondent) I think I do sometimes see it as allowing me to access something thats not necessarily accessible otherwise (research respondent) spose its a place of my own (research respondent) spose its a place of my own (research respondent) Me tits was all hanging out…but I know Id go for it again (research respondent) Me tits was all hanging out…but I know Id go for it again (research respondent)

11 In conclusion Escaping from social expectations is fun Escaping from social expectations is fun Alcohol helps but seeing certain groups doing so creates unease Alcohol helps but seeing certain groups doing so creates unease Who will look after the shop? Who will look after the shop? Health fears and stigma as social control Health fears and stigma as social control But the fun still beckons…. But the fun still beckons….

12 References Beresford, P. (2005) Social Approaches to Madness and Distress: User Perspectives and User Knowledges, Social Perspectives in Mental Health, ed. Tew, J., London: Jessica Kingsley Beresford, P. (2005) Social Approaches to Madness and Distress: User Perspectives and User Knowledges, Social Perspectives in Mental Health, ed. Tew, J., London: Jessica Kingsley Hannah-Moffatt, K. (2001) Punishment in Disguise: Penal Governance and Federal Imprisonment of Women in Canada. Toronto: Toronto University Press. Hannah-Moffatt, K. (2001) Punishment in Disguise: Penal Governance and Federal Imprisonment of Women in Canada. Toronto: Toronto University Press. Hunt, G. and Barker, J.C. (2001) Socio-cultural anthropology and alcohol and drug research: towards a unified theory, Social Science and Medicine 53 pp.165–188. Hunt, G. and Barker, J.C. (2001) Socio-cultural anthropology and alcohol and drug research: towards a unified theory, Social Science and Medicine 53 pp.165–188. Lawson, N. (2000) I drink, therefore I am, Observer, Sunday November 12, 2000. Lawson, N. (2000) I drink, therefore I am, Observer, Sunday November 12, 2000. Lewis, L. (2009) Politics of recognition: what can a human rights perspective contribute to understanding users experiences of involvement in mental health services? Social Policy and Society 8 (2) pp. 257-274. Lewis, L. (2009) Politics of recognition: what can a human rights perspective contribute to understanding users experiences of involvement in mental health services? Social Policy and Society 8 (2) pp. 257-274. Rogers, A. and Pilgrim, D. (2010) Stigma revisited and lay representations of mental health problems, A sociology of mental health and illness, 4 th ed., Maidenhead: Open University Press. Rogers, A. and Pilgrim, D. (2010) Stigma revisited and lay representations of mental health problems, A sociology of mental health and illness, 4 th ed., Maidenhead: Open University Press. Staddon, P. (2005) Labelling Out: The Personal Account of an Ex-Alcoholic Lesbian Feminist, in Ettorre, E. (ed.) (2005) Making Lesbians Visible in the Substance Use Field. New York: The Haworth Press. Staddon, P. (2005) Labelling Out: The Personal Account of an Ex-Alcoholic Lesbian Feminist, in Ettorre, E. (ed.) (2005) Making Lesbians Visible in the Substance Use Field. New York: The Haworth Press.


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