WK2_SOC2460_SP11 - SOC 2460: Drugs and Society Spring, 2011...

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SOC 2460: Drugs and Society Spring, 2011 Mondays and Wednesdays 2:30-3:20, 253 Malott Hall Discussion Sections on Fridays (1) 2:30PM-3:20PM MCG 125 (2) 2:30PM-3:20PM MRL 111 (3) 1:25PM-2:15PM MRL 111 (4) 10:10AM-11:00AM MCG 125 Instructor: Douglas Heckathorn, Professor of Sociology 344 Uris Hall 255 4368 255-4368 E-mail: ddh22@cornell.edu Office Hours: Fridays 1:30 to 3:30 or by appointment Teaching Assistants Teaching Assistants: Patrick Park Kyle Albert
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Social Science Approaches to Drug Use •S e c o n d , f o r W e b e r , p h e n o m e n a a r e s t u d i e d b e c a u s e o f v a l u e r e l e v a n c e –V a l u e s a f f e c t w h a t i s s t u d i e d , b u t s h o u l d n o t a f f e c t c o n c l u s i o n s –E . g . , h a r m r e d u c t i o n r e s e a r c h i s c o n t e n t i o u s This permeates most public health approaches to drug use –G o a l i s t o r e d u c e h a r m f r o m d r u g use, rather than merely condemn it –A n a l o g y : A u t o c o m p a n i e s f o u g h t s e a t b e l t and airbag requirements, on ground that better driver training was needed: but belts and bags reduce harm from crashed –S i m i l a r l y , h a r m r e d u c t i o n p r o g r a m s s u c h as needle exchanges reduce HIV transmission; but are seen by some as endorsing drug user –F e a r i s t h a t i f g o v e r n m e n t g i v e s o u t s y r i nges, this is a message that it is OK; a potentially legitimate concern –I t i s a l s o a c o n c e r n t h a t c a n b e t e s t e d , by seeing if a needle exchange creates new injectors as measured by prevalence of Hep C; conclusion—no harmful effec injectors, as measured by prevalence of Hep C; conclusion no harmful effect •T h i r d , v a l u e s a f f e c t t h e u s e t o w h i c h k n o w l e d g e i s p u t Harm reduction has also been opposed, because of fear that it will reduce incentives to stop using drugs This is similar to opposition to government efforts to fight sexually transmitted diseases, so that sex among non-virgins will be dangerous Progress toward objectivity has been made, but for Weber this is a continuing process –R e s e a r c h e r s c a n p o i n t o u t o n e a n o t h e r s b i ases to one another; and help to reduce 2 them . g . , d e m o n s t r a t i o n t h a t a r t i c l e s s h o w i n g h a r mful effects of drugs had greater chance of publications than those refuting them have made journal review processes more objective
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Paradoxes and Drugs •F i r s t , d a n g e r o u s n e s s h a s l i t t l e e f f e c t o n s o c i a l r e a c t i o n –I n t h e U S , t o b a c c o i s t h e m o s t d a n g e r o u s d r u g –R e s p o n s i b l e f o r 4 0 0 K d e a t h s p e r y e a r , half of preventable deaths, or 1/8 th of all deaths Yet is legal, and even subsidized by the federal government •T o b a c c o i s n a t i v e t o t h e n e w w o r l d , f o u n d e v e r y w h e r e b u t t h e a r c t i c –A f t e r l e a v i n g t h e n e w w o r l d , i t d i f f u s e d q u i c k l y Portugal in 1558 –F r a n c
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WK2_SOC2460_SP11 - SOC 2460: Drugs and Society Spring, 2011...

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