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 examines alcohol and drug use as socio-cultural practices which occur within specific social contexts. The course will also investigate the continued debates about 'what' addiction is and what these debates reveal about medical science and conceptions of health. 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, 1600 words (30) [LO 1,3,4,5]
- Written Paper 1, 1750 words (35) [LO 1,4]
- Written Paper 2, 1750 words (35) [LO 2,3]
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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 on wattle. It will include texts from the disciplines of sociology, anthropology, history, critical public health, social medicine and gender studies.
Although this is an interdisciplinary course, some familiarity with sociological and/or anthropological knowledge would be advantageous. In addition some familiarity with critical approaches to health and medicine would be helpful. Students without this background are able to do the course, but they may need to do additional reading.
Tuition fees are for the academic year indicated at the top of the page.
Commonwealth Support (CSP) Students
If you 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). More information about your student contribution amount for each course at Fees.
- Student Contribution Band:
- Unit value:
- 6 units
If you are a domestic graduate coursework student with a Domestic Tuition Fee (DTF) place or international student you will be required to pay course tuition fees (see below). Course tuition fees are indexed annually. Further information for domestic and international students about tuition and other fees can be found 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
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