Reading for Week 8. Book: Social Problems, Chapter: 8

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16 May 2011
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SP8: Addictions
Addiction; medical label appointed to personal weaknesses.
Addictions
Socially disapproved behaviour that is uncontrollable, harmful
7 criteria define addiction by WHO.
Addiction not related to frequency of use, but rather with difficulty in controlling use.
Addictive Gambling
3.1% moderate, 0.7% severe gambling problems in Ontario.
CPGI scale; focus on financial and social outcomes.
Taxation in gambling is attractive to governments.
Beckers Outsiders. Labelling theory; defining and treating others as deviant. Dominant group on
users/consumers of drugs or w/e. Negative labels lead to development of a self-concept of deviant
identity’. Self-fulfilling prophecy.
Not only ask, why are they deviant? But Why do we label such behaviour as deviant? These ppls actions
make sense to them, though we dont know why.
We will tend to cite the cause of gambling as personality weaknesses.
Are drugs and alcohol social problems?
Drug; causes a biochemical reaction in the body.
Definitions on illegal or legal drugs doesnt depend on its effect but rather on surrounding social,
economic, and political factors. Reasons are sociological not pharmacological (drug effects dont change,
rather public opinion, Opium example).
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