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Lecture

SOC 2070 Chapter 8.docx

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Department
Sociology
Course
SOC 2070
Professor
Andrew Robinson
Semester
Summer

Description
Unit 07 Illegal Drugs Deviant Behaviour Textbook Chapter 8 Social Deviance Course Reader Trends in Cannabis Cocaine and Ecstasy use Among Ontario Adults 19772003 CAMH Population StudiesCourse Manual Corresponding Unit Unit 07Deviant Behaviour Textbook Chapter 8 Illicit Drug Usecan look at drug use as deviant behaviour from both the positivist and constructionist perspectivesFrom a positivist perspectivethe issue that needs explaining is why some people use illegal substancessome focus on individualistic explanationssuch as biological or personality factorsothers examine differences between and among people living in certain types of social and economical structures different types of neighbourhoods societies social structures cities versus small towns etcall take drug use as the dependent variable as the variable that needs to be explainedexamine the consequences of actions such as drug usethe appeal of drugs is partly a result of their effectscertain drugs are highly reinforcing they activate and hijack pleasure centers in the brainthey are so rewarding some scientists argue that the user takes them repeatedly becoming dependent abandoning what was previously valued such as family school job and a homebackground assumption to drug use that the objective consequences of the use of certain substances are so harmful that society wisely attempts to control or limit their use through law enforcementin other words the condemnation of illicit use is a rational response to the very real and present danger such use poses From a constructionist perspectivethe constructionist raises questions such as the following why are certain substances regarded as drugs while others arentthe difference in the law of these many jurisdictions is not solely the threat or the harm or danger posed by the activitythat is pretty much the same everywherebut political ideological economic and cultural factorsin short these laws are social constructions the constructionist is interested in how these factors influence the law and condemnation of certain activitieseven laws against and prosecution of murder rape and robbery unarguably harmful acts with genuine victims are constructed in a certain way for certain reasons The Social Construction of a Social Problem
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