Thursday, April 22, 2010

Relationality and Methamphetamine

Today I presented this talk at the Southern Sociological Society's Annual Meeting in a panel discussion concerned with qualitative research methods. This is a similar talk to the one I gave at the Society for Applied Anthropology in Mexico a couple of weeks ago.

Tomorrow I will be presenting another paper in a theory session: Heidegger's theory of profound boredom and insights that we might gain to understanding addiction in light of his theory of moods. Wish me luck!


Relationality and Methamphetamine Use

13 comments:

  1. AA is unfortunately a negative demonstration of the socialization of addiction. It's negative success rate is a result of its being a narrative that emphasizes the person's continued (and permanent) state of addiction.

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  2. Thanks for reading, Andrew!
    I'm not sure where you're going with your thought here, but I suspect we'd both agree that it's not useful to claim "once an addict, always an addict."
    I have my beef with AA specifically, but it's perhaps flawed because it's based on the reports of those that did not achieve cessation because they didn't like AA's insistence on such strong statements of faith and identity.
    In this paper what I am saying is that addiction (not chemical dependence as defined in DSM-xx) research fails to adequately model addiction when it does not recognize the intensely social nature of the phenomenon. We are not born with an awareness of how to acquire nor how to use methamphetamine (in this case) - we must be taught. If learning works in the way Schultz suggested in '98 (although he's shifted his position), then dealing with addiction means addressing something more fundamental.
    In my Heidegger and addiction paper (perverse as it is since he himself was not at all interested in kulturphilosophie), I am following Avital Ronell's position in Crack Wars that modernity, addiction, social science - these concepts arose around the same time for a reason. I think Heidegger's thinking is useful for trying to model some other way of understanding Being-on-drugs.

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