SOC102H1 Chapter Notes - Chapter 8: Symbolic Interactionism, Anomie

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Published on 21 Apr 2011
Chapter 8
addiction socially disapproved behaviour that is uncontrollable, repetitious and
possibly harmful
the medical definition of addiction has 7 criteria
1.Tolerance (has use increased over time?)
2.Desire to cut down (thought about it? attempted?)
3.Withdrawal (when you stop using are there physical or emotional
4.Difficulty controlling your use
5.Negative consequences (continued to use despite negative
6.Putting off or neglecting activities (ever put off activities because of
your use?)
7.Spending significant time or emotional energy
oa person answering yes to 3 or more questions meets the medical definition
of addiction
definition does not describe how often one uses the drug or alcohol, but rather if one
has trouble controlling their use and whether there are negative effects
how is addiction a public/social problem?
osocial effects of addiction broken families, health consequences, lost days at
work, etc.
osocial causes of addiction social forces that increase the risk of addiction
Addictive Gambling
gambling is a behaviour on a continuum, ranging from non-gamblers to recreational
gamblers to problem gamblers
estimates suggest that 1 in 50 Canadian adults have a serious gambling problem
o480,000 Canadians have a gambling problem
Elements of the Canadian Problem Gambling Index
Bet more than you could afford
Increased wages
Returned to win back losses
Borrowed money or sold anything to gamble
Adverse Effects
Felt gambling problem
Suffered criticism
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Feelings of guilt
Financial problems
Negative health effects
the CPGI is a scale developed to measure problem or addictive gambling
ochief difference between it and the previous measure of addiction: we can
detect physiological effects in drug or alcohol addiction that we cant detect in
gambling addiction
gambling has become a major global industry in the past 20 years
oadvertised as a source of fun and recreation
ogovernments promote gambling to raise their own revenues
has become a public health issue in the usual way: it has social causes and health
it is a socially learned behaviour
labelling the process of defining and treating others as deviant
olabelling theory explores the effects of negative labels on individuals’ self-
conceptions and is interested in the development of a deviant identity
osocial reactions of condemnation and criminalization can lead actors to alter
their individual characteristics and to adopt the values of their labelled
Howard Beckers Outsiders (1963)
sets the groundwork for labelling theory
notes: Social groups create deviance by making rules whose infraction
constitutes deviance, and by applying these rules to particular people and
labelling them as outsiders.
deviance is the result of a dominant group insiders devising and
applying moral rules to less powerful groups ofoutsiders
a key point in Outsiders is that we must pay as much attention to the ruler
enforcer as we do to the rule violator
oinstead of asking why are they deviant? we should ask, why do we
label such behaviour as deviant, and with what consequences?
odoing so removes the assumption of fault, blame, dysfunction or
most social science work on gambling takes a psychological approach
ofocuses on thinking and behaviour of individuals without considering their
social environment
oplaces the burden of responsible gambling on the individual gambler, citing
personality weakness as the cause of gambling problems
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policy-makers, industry representatives and the public all share this
physiological factors are also important
olarge body of research has identified links between gambling and mood
this suggests there are genetic bases to problem gambling
Are Drugs and Alcohol Social Problems?
drug - any substance that causes a biochemical reaction in the body
what people define as a legal or an illegal drug usually depends less on its chemical
properties less on the reactions in your body and more on surrounding economic,
social and political factors
many members of society treat the use of illegal drugs as a major problem while
ignoring the harm done by legal drugs
attitudes toward specific drugs change with time
owhen social and cultural sensibilities shift, people start rejecting what they
once accepted
oex. opium
drug abuse this concept begins with the notion of excessive or inappropriate drug
use resulting in social, psychological and/or physiological impairments
oit stems from a chronic physical and psychological compulsion to continue
taking a drug in order to avoid unpleasant withdrawal symptoms
what makes up drug abuse depends largely on what people define as an acceptable
drug at a particular time and place
drug dependency - the routine need for a drug for physiological and/or
psychological reasons
tolerance a symptom of repeated and frequent drug use
oit refers to the decreased effectiveness of any given drug
Medicalization and the Transformation of a Problem
medicalization the process through which behaviours are reconceived as
instances of illness and are deemed no longer sinful since they are outside personal
oincreasing trend over the past century
triumph of science over religion in the past century and a half
new way of controlling the same deviant behaviour, but with power/control in the
hands of doctors rather than the clergy
oraises the power of doctors in society
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