First of all, keep in mind the concept of “subculture,” which defines any small, circumscribed group inserted in a bigger group of people and that follows a different set of rules. So, from this viewpoint, drug addicts do form a specific set of subcultures, smaller groups of people that share common specific internal rules. So, heroin users have their own “traditions,” habits, etc.; marijuana users have their own “traditions,” habits etc; and so on.
Read the intro [pag 193-195], skim through chapter 15 and read carefully chapter 16.
Chapter 16 can be confusing. So here you have a couple of hints. The common assumption about heroin users is that this kind of people take heroin in order to “escape” reality. Actually – according to the paper – life for heroin addicts is pretty challenging, and it requires pragmatism, street-smarts, and a strong character. You need to find the money for your fix, you need to find your supply, to protect yourself from the police, to make sure your drug dealer doesn’t try to steal your money and so forth. It is quite a challenging life, to be honest, so the only actual moment in which you escape reality is when you take the drug; the rest of the time, you must deal with a hard and challenging social environment.
You know the drill by now: summarize the materials, make a quotation out of them, and make TWO comments under your classmates’ posts,
Texts used:Inciardi, James A. and Karen McElrath. [Eds]. 2015. The American Drug Scene: Readings in a Global Context, 7th edition.
Bourgois, P. 1996. In Search of Respect: Selling Crack in El Barrio. New York, NY: Cambridge University Press.