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Drug use and social control: The negotiation of moral ambivalence

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Drug use and social control : The negotiation of moral ambivalence. / Shiner, Michael; Winstock, Adam.

In: Social Science and Medicine, Vol. 138, 08.2015, p. 248-256.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Harvard

Shiner, M & Winstock, A 2015, 'Drug use and social control: The negotiation of moral ambivalence' Social Science and Medicine, vol 138, pp. 248-256., 10.1016/j.socscimed.2015.06.017

APA

Shiner, M., & Winstock, A. (2015). Drug use and social control: The negotiation of moral ambivalence. Social Science and Medicine, 138, 248-256. 10.1016/j.socscimed.2015.06.017

Vancouver

Shiner M, Winstock A. Drug use and social control: The negotiation of moral ambivalence. Social Science and Medicine. 2015 Aug;138:248-256. Available from: 10.1016/j.socscimed.2015.06.017

Author

Shiner, Michael; Winstock, Adam / Drug use and social control : The negotiation of moral ambivalence.

In: Social Science and Medicine, Vol. 138, 08.2015, p. 248-256.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Bibtex Download

@article{a71bb117c7434708abb1ec9fea1ee807,
title = "Drug use and social control: The negotiation of moral ambivalence",
keywords = "Defence mechanisms, Drug use, Neutralisation techniques, Normalisation, UK",
author = "Michael Shiner and Adam Winstock",
year = "2015",
month = "8",
doi = "10.1016/j.socscimed.2015.06.017",
volume = "138",
pages = "248--256",
journal = "Social Science & Medicine",
issn = "0277-9536",

}

RIS (suitable for import to EndNote) Download

TY - JOUR

T1 - Drug use and social control

T2 - Social Science & Medicine

AU - Shiner,Michael

AU - Winstock,Adam

PY - 2015/8

Y1 - 2015/8

N2 - Illicit drugs occupy an ambivalent position in late modern society; one that revolves around the twin themes of pleasure and disapproval. Drawing on Freudian psychoanalysis and Eliasian sociology this article considers how people, particularly those who use drugs, negotiate such ambivalence. Patterns of drug use and associated attitudes are examined on the basis of the Crime Survey for England and Wales and a specialist survey of largely recreational drug users in the United Kingdom. Although illicit drugs have become increasingly familiar, their use is still widely thought to be harmful and morally dubious, creating a series of challenges for those who engage in such behaviour. Ambivalence among drug users is evident in an awareness of potential costs as well as benefits; a tendency to avoid more harmful substances; a general emphasis on moderation; and a desire to use less. Building on previous work, which highlights the role of neutralisations in sustaining drug using behaviour, particular attention is paid to users' judgements about how their levels of consumption compare with other users. The analysis identifies a tendency among users to downplay their relative levels of use, which, it is argued, serves to shield them from some of the imperatives that may lead to decisions to cut down. As such, normalisation is said to be an intra-personal as well inter-personal process. The article concludes by discussing the potential of web-based personalised feedback as a harm reduction approach.

AB - Illicit drugs occupy an ambivalent position in late modern society; one that revolves around the twin themes of pleasure and disapproval. Drawing on Freudian psychoanalysis and Eliasian sociology this article considers how people, particularly those who use drugs, negotiate such ambivalence. Patterns of drug use and associated attitudes are examined on the basis of the Crime Survey for England and Wales and a specialist survey of largely recreational drug users in the United Kingdom. Although illicit drugs have become increasingly familiar, their use is still widely thought to be harmful and morally dubious, creating a series of challenges for those who engage in such behaviour. Ambivalence among drug users is evident in an awareness of potential costs as well as benefits; a tendency to avoid more harmful substances; a general emphasis on moderation; and a desire to use less. Building on previous work, which highlights the role of neutralisations in sustaining drug using behaviour, particular attention is paid to users' judgements about how their levels of consumption compare with other users. The analysis identifies a tendency among users to downplay their relative levels of use, which, it is argued, serves to shield them from some of the imperatives that may lead to decisions to cut down. As such, normalisation is said to be an intra-personal as well inter-personal process. The article concludes by discussing the potential of web-based personalised feedback as a harm reduction approach.

KW - Defence mechanisms

KW - Drug use

KW - Neutralisation techniques

KW - Normalisation

KW - UK

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=84934922236&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1016/j.socscimed.2015.06.017

DO - 10.1016/j.socscimed.2015.06.017

M3 - Article

VL - 138

SP - 248

EP - 256

JO - Social Science & Medicine

JF - Social Science & Medicine

SN - 0277-9536

ER -

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