SOC 3243W: On Drugs: Pleasures, Panics & Punishments

3 CreditsWriting Intensive

In this course we are going to study and reflect on the immense popularity of mood-enhancing drugs, legal and illegal, around the world today. Why do we want to modify our moods, and how do we set about it? Why do some people throw themselves into drug use while others fearfully avoid it? And why do many more of us feel worried about \"addiction\" to shopping, sex, or gambling? Together we will build a comparative analysis of drug cultures and practices – understanding the place of “journey” and “possession” inebriation across time, and how the temporal and ritual boundaries delimiting substance use get broken down by the mass commoditization of alcohol and other drugs by 19th century capitalism. From there we trace the amazingly confused development of addiction and changing forms of intervention, from alarmist educational campaigns and the militarized maneuvers of the drug war to the drug court movement , and from the twelve-step cure to alternative harm reduction approaches. This class will offer you a mixture of accessible and detailed material, together with some theoretical work which will help you grasp the subject on a deeper level. As a writing intensive class you will develop a three-stage paper with feedback at each stage, producing a strong writing sample. Pre-req: Soc 1001 recommended; Soc majors/minors must register A-F.

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B+ Average (3.487)Most Common: A (47%)

This total also includes data from semesters with unknown instructors.

98 students
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