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ANTH 106: DRUG SYMBOLISM Manderson’s analysis of drug symbols D.Manderson ‘Metamorphoses: Clashing symbols in the social construction of drugs’ We need to move away from the reasons for drug laws towards aesthetics i.e. to consider ‘the sensory reaction provoked by drug images and the symbolic meaning of that imagery’. Drugs and pollution Hypodermic syringe (needle) and aesthetic aversion. The needle as ‘boundary violation’ and pollution. Influence of anthropologist Mary Douglas ( Purity and Danger , 1966): pollution as ‘matter out of place’. Manderson: needle is ‘metal out of place’. Drugs and possession D.Manderson ‘Possessed: drug policy, witchcraft and belief’ Cultural Studies, 19(1) 2005:35-62. Theory and laws of property: ‘possession’ assumes humans actively appropriate and use passive things. Criminal laws of drug ‘possession’: mere proximity establishes a presumptive crime. The drug attaches itself to a person.
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