Category Archives: Uncategorized

** REMINDER: ADTSG MEMBERSHIP **

 

This is a reminder to please fill out the ADTSG membership form by December 15.

The Society for Medical Anthropology (SMA) has recently made changes in the membership policy and procedures for Special Interest Groups (SIGs), such as ADTSG. SMA supports SIGs as an important part of strengthening communication and collaboration among scholars based on topical interests. As a SIG of the SMA, ADTSG is required to report our membership demographics to the SMA board, which helps them determine SIG status and resource allocation. In an effort to promote and streamline SIG membership, a single membership form has been created.

The form is available through December 15. The form is very brief, and will be used to establish memberships in all SIGs. We ask that all ADTSG members who would like to be part of the SIG fill out this form whether you are currently a member of ADTSG or not. If you do not fill out the form by December 15th, you may be removed from (or not added to) ADTSG’s roster.

Please note : You do NOT need to be a member of SMA to continue your membership in ADTSG. Simply indicate on the form whether you are a member of SMA or not and select the appropriate SIG(s) in which you would like to maintain membership. We are committed to keeping our membership open to those who are not members of SMA and AAA.

You will only need to fill out this form once per year. Please direct any questions/comments to Elizabeth Wirtz at wirtz@purdue.edu .

You can find the form here. Or copy and paste the following into your browser: https://goo.gl/forms/QKzFrV5gpxMVkteg1

Student Profile: Allison Schlosser

This is the third installment of ADTSG’s student profiles feature!

These profiles are a way for the ADTSG membership to become acquainted with the next generation of anthropologists of alcohol, drugs, and tobacco.  In this vein, each profile will introduce one graduate or undergraduate student to the group by asking him or her a series of questions related to his/her background and career aspirations in this field.

In this installment, we are profiling Allison Schlosser, MSW, a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Anthropology at Case Western Reserve University. Allison is also the winner of this year’s ADTSG Graduate Student Paper Prize.

Why did you choose to study anthropology?

After my AmeriCorps term, I earned a Master of Social Work focusing on improving health and social services for people affected by drug use and poverty. During the first semester of my social work program, I took Introduction to Medical Anthropology as an elective. I had never taken an Anthropology class, but recently read Paul Farmer’s Pathologies of Power after randomly picking it up at a bookstore and wanted to know more about the discipline. Lee Hoffer, my current Ph.D. advisor and an anthropologist of illegal drug use, taught the class. I learned anthropological theories and methods for the first time in this course, and realized anthropology provided an ideal lens for me to draw on as I sought to better understand experiences of drug use and intervention holistically. As a social work researcher, I integrated qualitative and rapid ethnographic methods into my work. I found ethnography to be an invaluable tool in social work research and I felt most comfortable in the ethnographer’s role. This stance, particularly its “one down” positioning and non-judgmental listening, was powerful in the intervention contexts in which I worked: spaces where people often felt their voices were not heard or valued. Eventually, I decided to pursue doctoral education in Medical Anthropology to gain in-depth training in anthropological theories and methods. I find social work’s mission to promote social justice and anthropology’s focus on everyday life in cultural, political, and economic contexts an ideal combination to understand drug use among people whose experiences are often ignored or poorly understood.

Why are you interested in alcohol, drugs, and tobacco research?

I first became interested in alcohol, drugs, and tobacco research when I served as an AmeriCorps volunteer teaching elementary school in St. Louis, Missouri. The school where I taught was located in a zip code with one of the highest incarceration rates in the country at the time. Many of my students’ family members were incarcerated for drug-related charges. I saw how these circumstances affected students, their families, and the local community. I was particularly struck by seeing how families struggled to access basic healthcare and social services as they faced stigmas of drug use and socioeconomic marginalization. Getting to know these families in all their complexity underscored how thoroughly some people are defined by stigmas. I became interested in understanding how the full humanity of people who use drugs is often denied, the ways this denial intersects with other forms of marginalization, and the material, psychological, and social consequences of it.

What are your research plans for studying alcohol, drugs, and tobacco?

I am currently completing my dissertation on cultural constructions of addiction and recovery in the relation to political-economic shifts and increasingly biomedicalized treatment in the U.S. In this work, I use longitudinal ethnographic methods to examine client experience in and after residential treatment that merges biomedicine with psychological, 12 Step mutual aid, and juridical approaches. Specifically, I explore how clients who are socially positioned in diverse ways engage multiple beliefs and practices of “good” (moral) personhood in daily life where diverse understanding of the very meaning of addiction and appropriate recovery co-exist in tension.

As I complete my dissertation, I am beginning two new projects. The first project examines embodied subjectivity as people practice meditation—an increasingly popular intervention integrated into some treatment programs—alongside biomedicine and 12 Step. I am currently exploring research sites for an ethnographic study on treatment that integrates these diverse approaches. The second project examines media representations of opioid use in relation to lived experience. I am working with Lee Hoffer on a pilot study, “Using Photovoice to Capture Diverse Experiences of Cleveland’s Opioid Crisis,” that combines media analyses, visual participatory research methods, and ethnography to compare images of opioid use in popular media with photographs of daily life taken by people actively using opioids. This project focuses on understanding opioid use and overdose from the perspectives of people whose experiences are often obscured by media representations of drug use.

What do you hope to do after you graduate?

After I graduate, I hope to continue to study addiction concepts in healthcare, social services, and criminal justice systems. I am interested in research on how shifting healthcare policies and beliefs about opioid use influence service access and client experience. My goal is to engage in work in which theory and application inform one another. I aim to do research that not only informs policy and services, but also advances theories related to biomedicalization, subjectivity, and health inequalities. Additionally, I hope to teach courses on the anthropology of illegal drug use, addiction, and health inequalities for undergraduate and graduate students within and outside of anthropology (e.g., social work, medical, public health students). I see teaching that gives students tools to identify and critique assumptions about drug use, addiction, and interventions as an essential aspect of my applied work.

If you are a student and would like to be profiled for the ADTSG website, please contact ADTSG Student Liaison, Breanne Casper, at casperb@mail.usf.edu for more information!

Drug Panels at 2017 AAA

We are just two weeks away from the 2017 American Anthropological Association annual conference in Washington, D.C.!

This year’s conference is chock full of exciting panels, papers, posters, and events about alcohol, drugs, tobacco, and related topics!  Below is a list of presentations and activities that will be of interest to ADTSG members, many of which involve our members.  Check them out!

Wednesday, November 29

12:00pm – 12:15pm (Marriott, Washington 2)

  • Paper: “Spirits” of Vodou: The Production and Use of Kleren in Haiti (Presenter: Patrick Wilkinson)

12:45pm – 1:00pm (Marriott, Jefferson)

  • Paper: “Sacrificial Offerings of China’s Reform”: Temporality, History, and Recovery from Addiction (Presenter: Nicholas Bartlett)

4:30pm – 4:45pm (Marriott, Wilson C)

  • Paper: Cultural Models of Substance Misuse Risk and Moral Foundations: Cognitive Resources Underlying Stigma Attribution Towards Individuals with Substance Use Disorder (Presenter: Nicole Henderson)

4:45pm – 5:00pm (Marriott, Harding)

  • Paper: Narrating the Unspeakable: Making Sense of Psychedelic Experiences in Drug Treatment (Presenter: Shana Harris)

5:15pm – 5:30pm (Marriott, Thurgood Marshall North)

  • Paper: Army Greens and Navy Blues: Advocating of Cannabis Reform for the Treatment of Military Sexual Trauma (Presenter: Amanda Berard)

Thursday, November 30

8:30am – 8:45am (Omni, Governors)

  • Paper: “Swallow Them All, and It’s Just Like Smack”: Managing Addiction as Psychiatric Comorbidity in Dublin, Ireland (Presenter: Michael D’Arcy)

10:15am – 10:30am (Marriott, Thurgood Marshall West)

  • Paper: Cannabis Capitalism: How Budtenders Navigate the Marijuana Market (Presenter: Lia Berman)

10:15am – 12:00pm (Omni, Forum)

  • Panel: Anthropological Studies of Substance Use and Abuse: Methodologies, Conceptualizations, and Ethical Concerns

10:45am – 11:00am (Marriott, Thurgood Marshall South)

  • Paper: Transforming the Self in the Company of Others (Presenter: China Scherz)

2:30pm – 2:45pm (Marriott, Washington Room 1)

  • Paper: “Worthy Ladies” Don’t Behave Badly: Addiction and Sobriety Inside Prisons (Presenter: Karen Williams)

4:45pm – 5:00pm (Marriott, Coolidge)

  • Paper: A Microcosm of Intoxication: Public Morality and Debauchery in Tehran’s Darvazeh Ghar (Presenter: Maziyar Ghiabi)

5:00pm (Marriott, meet at registration desk at 4:45pm)

  • Reception: Remembering Michael Agar

6:30pm – 8:15pm (Marriott, Washington Room 2)

  • Panel: The Faces of the U.S. Opioid Crisis

Friday, December 1

8:15am – 8:30am (Marriott, Ballroom Salon 1)

  • Paper: “That’s What They Came to See”: On Keeping a Record of Mental Health in Foster Care (Presenter: Matilda Stubbs)

8:30am – 8:45am (Marriott, Ballroom Salon 1)

  • Paper: Jedi Kush and Kids Who Medicate: Marijuana Materiality, U.S. Youth, and the “Nature” of Consumption (Presenter: Robert Chlala)

8:45am – 9:00am (Marriott, Wilson B)

  • Paper: On the Heart of Evil: Order, Nature, and Power in Mexico’s Narco Culture (Presenter: Jose Carlos Aguiar)

8:45am – 9:00am (Marriott, Ballroom Salon 3)

  • Paper: Opioid Overdose and Contemporary Frames of War: Policy, Resistance, and Mourning (Presenter: Andrea Lopez)

8:45am – 9:00am (Omni, Congressional A)

  • Paper: Alcoholic Marronage: Rum and Escape in the Slave Societies of the British and French Caribbean (Presenter: Frederick Smith)

9:00am – 9:15am (Marriott, Ballroom Salon 1)

  • Paper: Take a Chill Pill: Youth Agency, State Dependency, and Risky Child’s Play Practices among Family Child Care Providers in Los Angeles (Presenter: Dario Valles)

10:30am – 10:45am (Marriott, Washington Room 3)

  • Paper: Becoming Aggrieved, Becoming Hopeful: The Generativity of Death (Presenters: Laurence Ralph and Angela Garcia)

11:15am – 11:30am (Marriott, Wilson C)

  • Paper: A Biocultural Approach to Gender Differences in Drug Use among the Jenu Kurubas of South India (Presenter: Caitlyn Placek)

12:15pm – 1:30pm (Omni, Forum)

  • ADTSG Open Business Meeting

3:00pm – 5:00pm (Marriott, Poster Atrium)

  • Poster: Tobacco in the Philippines: Structurally Violent Social Capital (Presenter: Ben Merrill)

3:00pm – 5:00pm (Marriott, Poster Atrium)

  • Poster: Health Benefits of Islamic Practice – Indonesian Ramadhan and the Great Smokeout (Presenter: Rikhart Rupnik)

4:15pm – 4:30pm (Omni, Calvert)

  • Paper: Barriers to Health Access for Quitting Smoking for Homeless Individuals (Presenter: Irene Glasser)

4:45pm – 5:00pm (Marriott, Washington Room 3)

  • Paper: From Marijuana to Cannabis (Presenter: William Garriott)

5:30pm – 5:45pm (Omni, Palladian Ballroom)

  • Paper: Is Smoking Queer? Implications of California Tobacco Denormalization for the Positionality of Queer Smokers (Presenter: Emile Sanders)

Saturday, December 2

8:00am – 9:45am (Omni, Diplomat Room)

  • Panel: Work, Stress, Families, and Drug and Alcohol Use: Reflections on the Career of Genevieve M. Ames

8:00am – 8:15am (Marriott, Roosevelt 2)

  • Paper: Getting Caught in “Right and Wrong” (Shifei): Medicalizing Drug Users’ Moral Anxieties in Addiction Treatment Programs in Southwest China (Presenter: Chaoxiong Zhang)

8:00am – 8:15am (Marriott, Madison B)

  • Paper: Poverty Management and the Emergence of New Forms of Dislocation and Disappearance in Vancouver’s Inner City Drug Scene (Presenter: Danya Fast)

8:00am – 8:15am (Marriott, Wilson A)

  • Paper: Recovering Care: Perspectives from Drug Treatment Courts in the U.S. (Presenter: Emily Metzner)

8:30am – 8:45am (Omni, Empire Ballroom)

  • Paper: Writing on Drugs: Ethnographic Predicaments in the Era of Psychedelic Resurgence (Presenter: Nathan Greenslit)

8:45am – 9:00am (Marriott, Madison A)

  • Paper: Creating Pure Space in the Islamic Republic: The Life of Poor Addicts After Harm Reduction (Presenter: Parsa Bastani)

11:00am – 11:15am (Marriott, Wilson C)

  • Paper: Farmers, Farmworkers, and the “Difficult, Dirty, and Sometimes Dangerous” Work of Burley Tobacco (Presenter: Susie Donaldson)

2:00pm – 2:15pm (Marriott, Washington Room 5)

  • Paper: Take a Shot of Anthropology –  An Overview of Penn State’s Booze and Culture Class (Presenter: Kirk French)

2:30pm – 2:45pm (Marriott, Maryland Suite A)

  • Paper: “El Adicto Tiene Cura!”: The Struggle for a Good Life in Puerto Rico’s Therapeutic Communities for Addiction (Presenter: Caroline Parker)

4:15pm – 4:30pm (Marriott, Virginia Suite C)

  • Paper: Liquor, Ritual Suppression, and the Development of the Yucatecan Cantina (Presenter: John Gust)

4:45pm – 5:00pm (Marriott, Coolidge)

  • Paper: Appropriating Addiction and Authenticity: The Co-opting and Subverting of Identity and Personhood Through Methamphetamine Use in Thailand (Presenter: Jason Chung)

Sunday, December 3

10:30am – 10:45am (Marriott, Roosevelt 2)

  • Paper: Tellin’ It Like It Is?: Inpatient Testimonies and the Problem of Choice in Tijuana’s Locked Drug Rehabilitation Centers (Presenter: Ellen Kozelka)

10:30am – 10:45am (Marriott, Washington Room 4)

  • Paper: Magic Mint and Cyberindigeneity: “World Enlargement” (and Strategic Shrinkage) in the Global Salvia Trade (Presenter: Paja Faudree)

10:45am – 11:00am (Marriott, Virginia Suite C)

  • Paper: The Curious Case of Tobacco Traders and Ganja Growers: Evaluating Agrarian Flows as Contraband across the India-Bangladesh Border (Presenter: Sahana Ghosh)

SMA Position Opening: Anthropology News Liaison

The Society for Medical Anthropology (SMA) is seeking an Anthropology News (AN) Liaison who will be responsible for soliciting, editing, and uploading monthly columns for the SMA Section News portion of the AN website and print newsletter/magazine. This is an excellent opportunity for an individual with broad knowledge of medical anthropology and strong writing and editorial skills to contribute to SMA’s ongoing communications. The capacity to solicit columns from a wide array of colleagues is a plus. Individuals at any career stage will be considered.

The SMA/AN Liaison plays a key role in SMA’s communications initiatives and will participate in quarterly meetings with the organization’s president, communications committee, and Digital Communications Manager. The Liaison will also attend the AN Section News Editor’s meeting at the annual AAA meeting (some travel reimbursement available).

The preferred candidate will be proficient using (or willing to quickly learn) WordPress.

The SMA/AN Liaison is responsible for the following:

· Coordinating with the SMA communications committee regarding upcoming initiatives;
· Soliciting content from prospective AN authors for a monthly column;
· Providing authors with the AN column template and guidelines and reminding them of submission deadlines;
· Editing content when submitted and working with authors to complete revisions;
· Submitting finalized content to AN‘s WordPress site with photos embedded.

This is a volunteer position starting in December 2017; the SMA/AN Liaison will be considered an ex officio member of the SMA Board. If interested, please send a CV and cover letter describing your interest and qualifications to Erin Finley at finleye@uthscsa.edu by November 15, 2017.

Policy/Advocacy Mentoring Opportunity at 2017 AAAs

Become a Change Agent: Lessons from Experts offered at Annual Meeting  

Cathleen Willging, cwillging@pire.org
Jennifer Hubbert, hubbert@lclark.edu

Want to influence public policy that shapes the health and wellbeing in the U.S. and elsewhere? Interested in learning about techniques that can impact how policy gets developed and implemented, or want to further hone your own advocacy skills? Going to the annual meeting of the American Anthropological Association this year?

If so, please join the Society of Medical Anthropology (SMA) and the Association for the Anthropology of Policy (ASAP) for a co-hosted mentoring event on Thursday, November 30th between 6:30 pm and 8:15 pm. The event will be held in the Ambassador Ballroom of the Omni Shoreham Hotel and will include free yummy snacks, a cash bar, and two prominent speakers! This event (“How to Have an Impact on Health Policy: Lessons from Experts”) will focus on how we, as anthropologists, can be successful health policy advocates and change agents, focusing on the pragmatics of advocating for health policy by writing effectively for various media, collaborating with community organizations, and taking part in legislative processes.

The first speaker is Kathy Mulvey of the Climate and Energy Team at the Union of Concerned Scientists. For more than a quarter century, Kathy has worked in the trenches with researchers on policy analysis, campaigning, and legislative activity on a wide range of corporate accountability, environmental, and public health issues.

The second speaker is Ted Miller, a nationally-renowned economist and leading expert on injury and violence in the U.S. The author of over 250 publications, Ted will share his tried-and-true tips for engaging both media and policymakers on some of the most pressing social and health matters of our day, such as gun control.

Together, Kathy and Ted will school us on how we can play a role in framing, enacting, and evaluating of health policy. After we hear from the speakers, audience participants will split up into expert-facilitated groups to brainstorm how to best implement these practices and troubleshoot their own ongoing efforts. If you are interested in hands-on help, feel free to bring any of your own advocacy materials (e.g., op-eds, policy briefs) for on-site input. This is one mentoring event not to be missed!

** ATTENTION: ADTSG Membership **

Hello ADTSG members!

We would like to alert you to recent changes in the membership policy and procedures for Special Interest Groups (SIGs), such as ADTSG. The Society for Medical Anthropology (SMA) supports SIGs as an important part of strengthening communication and collaboration among scholars based on topical interests. As a SIG of the SMA, ADTSG is required to report our membership demographics to the SMA board, which helps them determine SIG status and resource allocation. In an effort to promote and streamline SIG membership, a single membership form has been created.

The form is available on October 15 through December 15. The form is very brief, and will be used to establish memberships in all SIGs. We ask that all ADTSG members who would like to be part of the SIG fill out this form whether you are currently a member of ADTSG or not. If you do not fill out the form by December 15th, you may be removed from (or not added to) ADTSG’s roster.

Please note : You do NOT need to be a member of SMA to continue your membership in ADTSG. Simply indicate on the form whether you are a member of SMA or not and select the appropriate SIG(s) in which you would like to maintain membership. We are committed to keeping our membership open to those who are not members of SMA and AAA.

You will only need to fill out this form once per year. Please direct any questions/comments to Elizabeth Wirtz at wirtz@purdue.edu .

You can find the form here. Or copy and paste the following into your browser: https://goo.gl/forms/QKzFrV5gpxMVkteg1

Graduate Student Paper Prize Winner: Allison Schlosser

The Alcohol, Drugs, and Tobacco Study Group is happy to announce the winner of our 2017 Graduate Student Paper Prize: Allison Schlosser!

Allison is a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Anthropology at Case Western Reserve University.  Her award-winning paper, “Stay in Your Square”: (Bounded) Intimacy and Moral Personhood in Addiction Treatment, examines how subjectivities and socialities are shaped by material and interpersonal exchanges in the moral world of addiction treatment in the US.

We would also like to announce that Henry Bundy from the University of Kentucky has been awarded an Honorable Mention for his paper, From Mundane Medicines to Euphorigenic Drugs: How Pharmaceutical Pleasures are Found, Foregrounded, and Made Durable. 

The ADTSG Graduate Student Paper Prize is an annual award that recognizes the best graduate student paper in the anthropology of alcohol, drugs, tobacco, pharmaceuticals, or other psychoactive substance use.  Please join us in congratulating Allison and Henry on their excellent work and their contributions to our field!

 

CFP: Neocolonialism and Alcohol Use (SfAA 2018)

CALL FOR PAPERS

Society for Applied Anthropology Annual Meeting

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

April 3-7, 2018

 

Neocolonialism and Alcohol Use: Patterns, Consequences, and Community Responses

Michael Duke (U of Memphis)

Alcohol played a complex role in the history of European and North American colonialism: while the introduction of distilled liquor facilitated forms of economic dependence and social disruption that allowed colonialism to take root, Christianity likewise advanced the colonialist project in part by  offering solace to those afflicted by alcohol’s negative social effects.  For contemporary neo-colonial subjects, whose societies continue to be dominated by the policies of more powerful nations, alcohol use continues to exert an important influence in the forms of both ongoing–often culturally specific– social problems on the one hand, and new forms of personhood and expression on the other. This panel will examine the varying forms and consequences of alcohol use under conditions of neoliberalism, as well as community responses to problematic drinking.

Please submit paper abstracts by October 12 to m.duke@memphis.edu

 

Student Profile: Tracy Brannstrom

This is the second installment of ADTSG’s new student profiles feature!

These profiles are a way for the ADTSG membership to become acquainted with the next generation of anthropologists of alcohol, drugs, and tobacco.  In this vein, each profile will introduce one graduate or undergraduate student to the group by asking him or her a series of questions related to his/her background and career aspirations in this field.

In this installment, we are profiling Tracy Brannstrom, a master’s student in the Department of Anthropology at the University of California, Berkeley.

Why did you choose to study anthropology?

During undergrad, I took a lot of philosophy courses because I loved asking the ‘big questions’ about humanity, and I had planned to make this my major. But then I had an anthropological methods course, in which the students worked on a long-term ethnographic project with field work, interviews and archival research, and this hooked me. Anthropologists seemed to work with philosophical content, but in a grounded way – sourcing big ideas from the lived realities of their informants. I liked the methodology. Applying to graduate programs in anthropology was a natural progression from this, and I ended up in a small division of the anthropology department at Berkeley that focuses on folklore studies, for my MA.

Why are you interested in alcohol, drugs, and tobacco research?

I’m drawn to questions and topics of human consciousness – the mind/body problem, conceptions of self, spirituality, things of this nature. “Drugs” seem to be compounds that can push the boundaries on ordinary perception, and I think these alterations can tell us a lot about the mind. I’m most interested in psychedelics because of their potential to facilitate new perspectives and re-work structures in the mind that we often think are solidified, but are actually malleable. Addiction is also something I’m very interested in from a social scientific perspective.

What are your research plans for studying alcohol, drugs, and tobacco?

For my current MA project, I spent three months looking at contemporary practices of folk medicine in the Peruvian Amazon. The project has more to do with medical knowledge and practice, but categories of “medicine,” “drug,” and “food” are always overlapping in complex ways. My fieldwork took me to women who claimed to have cured their Type 2 Diabetes with sessions of Kambo – the application of tree frog venom into the bloodstream, a process that is said to clean the blood and other organs. I also observed a healer’s home-based practice as he treated patients for alcohol addiction with Ayahuasca and other herbal preparations. When I returned to the US, I sorted through documents that belonged to the late anthropologist Marlene Dobkin de Rios, who did extensive work on mestizo shamanism and ayahuasca use in the Peruvian Amazon. This was at the Psychoactive Substances Research Collection at Purdue University.

What do you hope to do after you graduate?

I will finish my MA in the summer of 2018, and I hope to continue in a doctoral program – or to continue research in some capacity. I’d like to look at opiate addiction in the Northeastern US, which is research that I’ve already began since working as a newspaper reporter in Vermont before coming to Berkeley. My training in the folklore program here has drawn my attention to the ways that narratives are constructed and circulated, and I’d like to look at competing narratives regarding how and why addiction forms, in Vermont and/or New Hampshire. One of these narratives has to do with the African psychedelic Iboga, which is seen by many in the Northeast as a cure for opiate addiction, and was even the subject of an ongoing discussion by a committee in the Vermont legislature (!) when I was reporting. I’d like to return to this region, and help to document, and think through questions of addiction.

If you are a student and would like to be profiled for the ADTSG website, please contact ADTSG Student Liaison, Breanne Casper, at casperb@mail.usf.edu for more information!

CFP: (Re)Making Drug Use, Addiction, and Recovery Online (SfAA 2018)

CALL FOR PAPERS

Society for Applied Anthropology Annual Meeting

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

April 3-7, 2018

 

(Re)Making Drug Use, Addiction, and Recovery Online

Organizer: Allison Schlosser, Case Western Reserve University Department of Anthropology

Discussant: TDB

(Il)legal drug use is now a central global concern with the stark rise in opioid use and overdose death in the U.S. and emerging worldwide. As this drug crisis has intensified, so has the proliferation of new information and communication technologies. Images and discourses on drug use and overdose death have become spectacles circulated rapidly online. Meanwhile, individuals increasingly connect online to exchange information on drug use, “addiction,” and “recovery” via platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, and Youtube. People buy and sell drugs, narrate drug experiences, and form recovery and advocacy groups online. How is drug use, addiction, and recovery shaped in and through these virtual social spaces? What is at stake for identities, inter-subjectivities, and socio-political inclusion as online interactions become ever more present in daily life? This panel explores these questions with an emphasis on what anthropological research attuned to the realities of lives lived on and offline can contribute to policy, health services, and advocacy efforts.

Potential paper topics include (but are not limited to):

-How online sociality shapes understandings of drug use (e.g., as “habit,” “addiction,” “dependency”) and the practical implications for policy and services.

-How new cultural practices related to drug use/addiction/recovery emerge online.

-How virtual and offline lives intersect as individuals negotiate drug use/addiction/recovery.

-Unanticipated consequences and opportunities of online drug use/addiction/recovery interactions for intervention efforts (e.g., harm reduction, advocacy, novel interventions).

-How individual and communal identities negotiated online may be novel and/or reproduce existing practices and power relations related to drug use/addiction/recovery.

-The ways social position shapes access to and engagement with drug use/addiction/recovery online groups and related ethical implications.

 

Please send paper abstracts of no more than 100 words to Allison Schlosser at avs29@case.edu by Friday, September 29.

Presenters will be notified of selection by October 6 and asked to register for the conference and submit their paper abstracts by October 15.