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Lecture 8

Drug & Society Lecture 8 Notes (2.12.14)

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SOCL 1295
Lisa Ferruccio

Lecture 8 1/15/14 11:48 AM Drug Theories What is a theory? A general statement about how some parts of the world fit together and how they work; propositions used to explain, predict Main theories and theorists referenced in Righteous Dopefiend: Marx: Conflict theory/Marxism Bourdieu: Habitus (won’t be on quiz) Foucault: Power Influenced by Marxism • Society is viewed as composed of groups that are competing for scarce resources (money, power, etc.) • Elites use power to control weaker groups • It’s all about how social class translates into power and opportunity *Substance abuse is largely a social-structural problem, exacerbated by pre- existing social conditions Regarding Drug Users: • Marginalized groups are more likely to be targeted for substance abuse violations • They are more likely seen as undesirables and given harsher punishments and counterparts • They lack the power to challenge the system *Critique: structural inequality is not an excuse for making bad decisions Marxism & Righteous Dopefiend Edgewater Homeless: Lumpen proletariat • Lumpen- no reason for being, no productive value • The “scum, offal, refuse of all classes” • Vulnerable population that is produced as the result of transitioning “modes of production” • Not even part of “reserve army of unemployed” Habitus: • Dispositions that are acquired through experience; upbringing • It explains behavior that is neither hard-wired into our biology, nor simple a manifestation of conscious and rational decision-making • Your social filter for how you see the world; your autopilot • Bancroft: Second nature; Instinct o Example: video of people tripping up subway steps. People are used to being on auto-pilot According to Bourdieu, our habits reflect where and how we grow up • In RD: Mindsets regarding racial/ethnic categorization and gender are acquired through experience; and therefore thought to be “common sense” • Example: The “common sense” of Tina doing sex work Handout notes: 1. What are the dominant goals in American society today? • Financial success • Home ownerships • Family • College education • Good job with stability • Happiness 2. What does society say is an acceptable way to achieve these goals? • Work your way up (start small) • Honesty/integrity • Do things the legal way
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