Drugspeak: The Analysis of Drug Discourse

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Drugspeak: The Analysis of Drug Discourse describes the way in which conversations between drug users vary and change according to context and circumstance in ways that suggest that there is no single "truth" about the state we call "addicted." The central thesis of the book is that the explanations that drug users give for their drug use make sense not so much as sources of facts, but as primarily functional statements shaped by a climate of moral and legal censure. Consequently the significance of drug conversations lies not in their literal semantics but in the purposes such conversations serve. The argument raises a number of fundamental issues about the performative rather than the informative nature of language, about the nature of the "scientific facts" concerning drug use, and about the very nature of science itself.
Starting with a general overview of the problems arising from a mechanistic and deterministic view of science, the book identifies a need for a new approach to the understanding of verbal behaviour. Secondly, it gives an account of a new and innovative form of analysis, based on over 500 conversations carried out with drug users in Scotland and the north of England. In a final data section, evidence is presented linking particular types of conversation to particular patterns and circumstances of drug use. The book concludes with the notion that addiction is defined more by culture and by social situations than by any presumed objective reality.

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About the Author:

John Booth Davies is Professor of Psychology and Director of the Centre for Applied Social Psychology at the University of Strathclyde, UK.

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9781138006317: Drugspeak: The Analysis of Drug Discourse

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ISBN 10:  1138006319 ISBN 13:  9781138006317
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9789057021916: Drugspeak: The Analysis of Drug Discourse

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