Cycles of Control: Alcohol Regulation and the Construction of Gender Role, British Columbia 1870-1925

Mimi Ajzenstadt

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Analyzes the social processes involved in the construction of gender roles within wider shifts in the relations between state and society in British Columbia during the 19th and 20th centuries. Through a historical examination of the formulation of women's roles in relation to alcohol consumption between 1870 and 1925, the article studies the changing images of women and their relations with state institutions. These changes were historically and politically constructed and form part of the state formation process, which introduced new perceptions about the community's moral framework. This construction was an outcome of dynamic social processes in which moral reformers, politicians, and various groups of professionals discussed the role of the state in regulating private behavior. Their perceptions about statehood and womanhood reflected their responses to economic, political, and demographic events changing the demographic landscape of western Canada. Alcohol-related controls should be understood in the wider context of the historical, specific realities of racial, class, and gender differences within the various hierarchies of power in British Columbia.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)101-120
Number of pages20
JournalInternational Journal of Canadian Studies
StatePublished - 1 Mar 1995


  • Women
  • Gender role
  • Government regulation
  • Alcohol
  • Canada
  • British Columbia


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