From your daily cup(s) of coffee to the "War on Drugs," drugs touch the lives of most people. Yet, how societies deal with drug use and abuse changes throughout time. In this course, we will look at drug use and abuse through a sociological lens, exploring how micro (personal), meso (interactional), and macro (structural) level forces underpin the meanings, experiences, and policies associated with drug use and abuse in the US. Beyond this, we will examine how these forces contribute to persistent systems of inequality among different groups. This will not serve as a "how to" course, but one in which you will be asked to critically examine the role of drugs and their effect on society. By the end of the course, students should be able to: explain and apply the primary sociological frameworks for understanding drug use and addiction; identify key changes in the cultural meanings of drug use and addiction over time, and how these meanings intersect with race, class, and gender stereotypes; define stigma and its relationship to drug use and identity; describe the sociohistorical underpinnings of drug policy development in the US and its contribution to inequality; and critically assess research and media coverage of drug use and addiction.
Grad student instructor limit