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Social Deviance (Chapter 8).docx

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University of Guelph
SOC 2070
Norman Dubeski

SOCIAL DEVIANCE: CHAPTER 8: ILLICIT DRUG USE  Positivist: ask why do they do it? > All explanations seek to reveal the causes of drug abuse. Have a structure/form: Factor A (the explanatory or independent variable) causes outcome B (drug use, the dependent variable). Examine consequences of their actions.  Constructionist: why is the use of certain substances regarded as deviant? Interested in how social constructions influence the law and condemnation of certain activates. THE SOCIAL CONSTRUCTION OF A SOCIAL PROBLEM  Drugs are most often used in a culturally appropriate and approved manner.  Socially constructed or subjective dimension.  Has an objective side: the harm drugs do to humans.  When examining drug use subjective and objective sides need to be kept separated from one‟s mind.  1940-50s: marijuana use and its horrors.  1960s: LDS‟s > make people go crazy.  1970‟s: heroin stormed newspaper headlines.  1980‟s: A rebirth – an explosion of public concern over illegal drugs > „drug scare‟, „moral panic‟.  Sub-population was defined= “Folk Devil” (Cohen).  Legal drugs kill 30 times as many Americans as illegal drugs. WHAT IS DRUG USE?  Some definitions are themselves forms of deviance while the use of others may cause or be associated with deviance.  Dictionary: drug is a medicine or any other substance used in the treatments of diseases.  A substance with a significant effect on the functioning of the mind.  General Public: an illegal or illicit substance taken for the purpose of getting high or intoxicated. A CLASSIFICATION OF DRUGS AND THEIR EFFECTS  Stimulants: speed op signals passing through the CNS > more alert and awake > cocaine, amphetamine, Ritalin.  Narcotics: diminish the brain‟s perception of the brain > opiates; opium, morphine, heroin and codeine.  Sedatives or general depressants: depressive effect on organs and functions > alcohol, roofies.  Hallucinogens: effects CNS > induce sensory alterations > LSD, magic mushrooms, mescaline and peyote > a loosening of the imagination and an intensification of emotional states. PCP (angel dust) was originally a horse tranquiliser. Ketamine (special K) is a milder version of PCP. These drugs produce drowsiness, discoordination and distorted sense of reality.  MDMA or Ecstasy: sometimes referred to as a hallucinogen but is an „empathogen‟ as it induces empathy.  Marijuana: depressant, stimulant, hallucinogen. Now in a category by itself > most frequently used illegal drug in America.  Salvia: a Mexican herb that was legal until one death so is criminalized in Delaware as Brett‟s Law.  Qualludes: Club drug that makes people feel they are in love.  Late 1970s: Use of nearly all illegal drugs declined substantially.  GHB: „date rape‟ drug. It‟s colourless, odourless and tasteless.  Rohypnol: „date rape‟ drug. A relaxant and used to treat narcolepsy.  Illegal drug use is not nearly as high as many sensational media stories claim.  Illegal drug use is considerably less widespread than the use of alcohol and tobacco.  Legal drugs tend to be used much more often on a continued basis. Illegal drugs are used more infrequently. MARIJUANA USE IN THE US (1960-2007)  1960s: Few Americans used illegal drugs > 1% in youths, 5% in young adults.  1967: Figures quadrupled > 5% in youths, 15% in young adults.  1967-1970: Marijuana use increased and peaked in 1979.  1980: Declined.  1990: Rose again.  2007: Declined > 6.7% young people and 5.8% for the population as a whole. MARIJUANA USE AS DEVIANCE AND CRIME  1920s: Few Americans had even heard about Marijuana > thought it was a medicinal herb.  1930s: Was dubbed the „killer weed‟ „green monster‟ „sex-crazing drug menace‟.  1937: Laws criminalizing its possession and sale were passed in every state and at a federal level as well.  1960: Popularity dramatically increased > use increased.  1970: Attitudes softened 11 states in the US decriminalized the possession of it.  1990s: Use now seen as more deviant. Use declined.  2000s: The decriminalization movement is back. HALLUCINOGENIC DRUGS  1960s: Hallucinogenic drugs were referred to as „psychedelics‟ implied the mind is „made manifest‟ > more perceptive than ordinarily – under the influence.  Early researchers thought LSD might
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