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Drinking: Another glass ceiling? Social drinking and alcohol use among women in Korea

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Abstract

Korean society is experiencing a rapid increase in alcohol consumption among women. Research on women's alcohol use has focused mostly on problems and pathological symptoms associated with alcohol use. Focusing only on problems of alcohol use risks overlooking some important social phenomena where alcohol use is a medium. We examined the association between marital status, childcare responsibility, employment status and social drinking behaviour. Our aim was to examine how these factors influence women's alcohol consumption in order to provide an empirical explanation of how the traditional division of labour limits women's social drinking practices. Findings show that women are structurally excluded from social drinking behaviour due to domestic responsibilities (as a wife and a mother). In other words, social drinking has become another glass ceiling for women.

Key Practitioner Message: ● Attention should be given to structural influences on women's alcohol use;It is important to consider gender inequality in both formal and informal domains.

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