Home > Square plug, round hole: an exploration of the social construction of women's position in society, its influences on the development of addiction and evaluation of associated responses.

Barden, Maria (2001) Square plug, round hole: an exploration of the social construction of women's position in society, its influences on the development of addiction and evaluation of associated responses. Masters thesis, National University of Ireland, Maynooth.

This study decodes the dominant discourses on the social construction of women's position in Irish society. It reveals how this position is linked to the development of addiction in women. It illustrates how conceptual frameworks on addiction are political and inadequate. This in turn is reflected in the responses to addiction, which are predominantly gender blind, are not inclusive of social context and therefore not reflective of these women's needs.

This study reviews current relevant literature on the subject of women and addiction from a post-structuralist stance. The research findings are presented using a feminist qualitative methodology, paying particular attention to my own subjectivity, collaboration, power, and politics in the research relationship. Interpretation of five women's life stories and creative pieces is conducted using a reflective methodology filtered through the theoretical perspectives of post-structuralism, hermeneutics and critical theory.

Women's drinking and drug taking is described by the research participants in this study as a resistance to subordination, but later becomes functional to cope with oppressive systems. Treatment responses in this study are seen to reflect macro discourse on addiction. They ignore gender and social context, and are seen to be classist, stigmatising, and are based on the needs of professionals, politicians, and the middle classes rather than the women they purport to treat.

The implications of this study for adult education includes recommendation for all adult education courses to be inclusive of modules on gender, marginalisation, and addiction to challenge oppressive systems. It also holds recommendations for policy and research to challenge the lack of debate on gender, addiction and marginalisation in the public arena. In conclusion, recommendations are also made for policy makers in reviewing and researching policy and action, and being inclusive of gender, marginalisation and participation of working class communities.


Item Type:Thesis (Masters)
Date:2001
Pages:ix, 152 p.
Keywords:feminism, gender differences, Ireland, lower socioeconomic class, social inequality, woman
Notes:This MA in Adult & Community Education thesis no. LO 3407. is held only in Maynooth University library
EndNote:View
Accession Number:HRB 3780 (Not in collection)
Subjects:VA Geographic area > Europe > Ireland
M Social sciences, economics, law and crime > Social position > Social equality and inequality
T Demographic Characteristics > Woman (women / female)
T Demographic Characteristics > Gender differences
Related URLs:

Repository Staff Only: item control page