This interdisciplinary course will introduce students to contemporary understandings of addiction and drug and alcohol use, from a socio-cultural perspective. It addresses the question of why addiction and drug use have such prominence as medical and social problems in contemporary Western cultures and provides a range of concepts and tools for understanding their significance. The course will investigate the continued debates about 'what' addiction is and what these debates reveal about medical science and conceptions of health. It will also introduce the idea of alcohol and drug use as socio-cultural practices which occur within specific social contexts. The significance of gender, race, age and class in structuring patterns and experiences of drug use will be explored.
Upon successful completion, students will have the knowledge and skills to:
- explain contemporary theories of addiction and drug use from a critical and sociological perspective;
- analyse drug use as a social practice;
- interpret and evaluate qualitative data on drug and alcohol use;
- evaluate different social, legal and medical responses to drug use and addiction; and
- reflect on and discuss their own learning as it relates to the subject matter of the course.
Other InformationCo-taught with SOCY2026 and SOCY6065.
- Learning journal, 1500 words (30) [LO 1,3,4,5]
- Essay 1, 1750 words (30) [LO 1,4]
- Essay 2, 1750 words (30) [LO 2,3]
- Tutorial participation (10) [LO 1,2,3,4,5]
The ANU uses Turnitin to enhance student citation and referencing techniques, and to assess assignment submissions as a component of the University's approach to managing Academic Integrity. While the use of Turnitin is not mandatory, the ANU highly recommends Turnitin is used by both teaching staff and students. For additional information regarding Turnitin please visit the ANU Online website.
Workload130 hours of total student learning time made up from:
a) 36 hours of contact over 12 weeks: 24 hours of lectures, and 12 hours of tutorials; and,
b) 94 hours of independent student research, reading and writing.
Requisite and Incompatibility
The prescribed reading for this course will be available in a reading brick. It will include texts from the disciplines of sociology, anthropology, history, public health, social medicine and gender studies.
Tuition fees are for the academic year indicated at the top of the page.
If you are a domestic graduate coursework or international student you will be required to pay tuition fees. Tuition fees are indexed annually. Further information for domestic and international students about tuition and other fees can be found at Fees.
- Student Contribution Band:
- Unit value:
- 6 units
If you are an undergraduate student and have been offered a Commonwealth supported place, your fees are set by the Australian Government for each course. At ANU 1 EFTSL is 48 units (normally 8 x 6-unit courses). You can find your student contribution amount for each course at Fees. Where there is a unit range displayed for this course, not all unit options below may be available.
Offerings, Dates and Class Summary Links
ANU utilises MyTimetable to enable students to view the timetable for their enrolled courses, browse, then self-allocate to small teaching activities / tutorials so they can better plan their time. Find out more on the Timetable webpage.
Class summaries, if available, can be accessed by clicking on the View link for the relevant class number.