Dazzled by unity? Order and chaos in public discourse on illicit drug use Fraser, Suzanne en_US Moore, David en_US 2021-11-25T15:10:07Z 2021-11-25T15:10:07Z 2008 en_US
dc.description.abstract One of the ways in which researchers, policy makers and practitioners routinely characterise illicit drug use is through a taxonomy of two paired conditions, the negative state of ¿chaos¿ and the positive state of ¿order¿ in the form of ¿stability.¿ In this article, we explore some of the ways in which this taxonomy operates in public discourse on illicit drug use. Google searches were conducted in order to gather a corpus of Australian, United Kingdom and United States materials making use of notions of chaos and stability in discussing illicit drug use. The chaos/stability pairing was identified in a large number of materials, including government policy documents, internet web sites for drug related services, newspaper articles and research papers. Drawing on the work of Michel Foucault and Michel Serres, we argue that references to chaos and stability within public discourse produce at least three different ontological registers in which drug users are positioned: (1) the drug user as chaotic, (2) the drug using way of life as chaotic and (3) drug use activities as chaotic. These registers produce different semantic effects in that each locates the ¿problem¿ of chaos differently and invokes it for different political and regulatory ends. Further, we argue that the taxonomy serves mainly to affirm the illegitimacy of injecting drug use by establishing and policing boundaries between the ostensibly unproductive, disorderly lives of drug users and the ¿normal,¿ orderly and productive lives of non-injecting drug users. In concluding, we question the adequacy of chaos, as conventionally defined, in accounting for the circumstances and actions of drug users, and canvass alternative ways of viewing chaos that might offer useful critical tools for drugs research, policy and practice. en_US
dc.identifier.issn 0277-9536 en_US
dc.language English
dc.language.iso EN en_US
dc.rights CC BY-NC-ND 3.0 en_US
dc.rights.uri en_US
dc.source Legacy MARC en_US
dc.subject.other Illicit drug use en_US
dc.subject.other chaos en_US
dc.subject.other stability en_US
dc.subject.other public discourse and response en_US
dc.subject.other drug research en_US
dc.subject.other policy and practice en_US
dc.title Dazzled by unity? Order and chaos in public discourse on illicit drug use en_US
dc.type Journal Article en
dcterms.accessRights metadata only access
dspace.entity.type Publication en_US
unsw.relation.faculty Arts Design & Architecture
unsw.relation.ispartofjournal Social Science & Medicine en_US
unsw.relation.ispartofpagefrompageto 740-752 en_US
unsw.relation.ispartofvolume 66 en_US
unsw.relation.originalPublicationAffiliation Fraser, Suzanne, National Centre in HIV Social Research, Faculty of Arts & Social Sciences, UNSW en_US
unsw.relation.originalPublicationAffiliation Moore, David en_US Centre for Social Research in Health *
Resource type