A new article, led by DruGS program member David Moore, reports findings from an international comparative research project on gender, alcohol and violence.
The article, entitled ‘Gendering practices in quantitative research on alcohol and violence: Comparing research from Australia, Canada and Sweden’, analyses the treatment of gender in Canadian and Swedish quantitative research on alcohol and violence, and compares it with the treatment of gender in similar Australian research.
In a previous article, members of the project team argued that Australian research on ‘alcohol-related presentations’ to emergency departments neglects the stark gendering of violence in its analyses and policy recommendations (Moore et al., 2020). A subsequent piece argued that this was also the case for Australian research on alcohol and violence among young people participating in the night-time economy (Moore et al., 2021). In both cases, the neglect of gendered violence occurs via a series of ‘gendering practices’ (Bacchi, 2017):
- omitting gender altogether from consideration;
- overlooking clearly gendered data to make gender-neutral policy recommendations;
- rendering gender invisible via methodological decisions;
- displacing one gender, men and masculinities, via a focus on environmental, geographical or temporal factors; and
- addressing gender only in limited ways.
The new article identifies a similar set of gendering practices at work in Canadian and Swedish quantitative research on alcohol and violence, as well as a key difference. This key difference emerges in relation to the practice of addressing gender. Here, there is a bifurcation in the Canadian studies: between one group of articles – led by researchers in Ontario – in which gender is central to the analyses and ensuing policy recommendations, and a second group containing only one example in which gender is partially addressed. The article draws attention to the differing realities of gender, alcohol and violence produced by these contrasting knowledge practices, and offers two possible explanations for this difference, one strategic and the other relating to gendered forms of power. The article closes by asking how future research analyses and policy recommendations might be improved if gender-sensitive quantitative tools were developed, gender considerations were systematically integrated, and gendered effects were taken into account when alcohol policy choices are made.
The project on which this article is based involves colleagues from universities in Australia, Canada and Sweden, and is funded by the Australian Research Council (DP18010036).
Bacchi, C. (2017). Policies as gendering practices: Re-viewing categorical distinctions. Journal of Women, Politics and Policy, 38(1), 20–41.
Moore, D., Duncan, D., Keane, H., & Ekendahl, M. (2021). Displacements of gender: Research on alcohol, violence and the night-time economy. Journal of Sociology, 57(4), 860–876.
Moore, D., Keane, H., & Duncan, D. (2020). Enacting alcohol realities: Gendering practices in Australian studies on ‘alcohol-related presentations’ to emergency departments. Sociology of Health and Illness, 42, 3–19.
Moore, D., Keane, H., Ekendahl, M., & Graham, K. (2022). Gendering practices in quantitative research on alcohol and violence: Comparing research from Australia, Canada and Sweden. International Journal of Drug Policy, 103: 103669.
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