Drug addiction and identity politics: the spiritual use of ganja in Bangladesh

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With the aim of destabilizing the essentially deviant identity of drug addiction and addicts, this article focuses on the diversity within the phenomenon of 'drug addiction' and identifies generalizations about addiction to substances as problematic. Taking the spiritual use of ganja as a point of reference, this article uncovers an underlying identity politics between the dominant discourses of public health and welfare and the marginalized discourses produced by addicts. It finds that ganja users, through their regular use of the substance, create a social space for themselves and thus reclaim positive social identity that directly contradicts the discourses of the dominant culture.

Keywords: drug addiction; ganja use; identity politics; public health; spiritual use of ganja

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/10282580802482660

Affiliations: Sociology Department, University of California, Los Angeles, USA

Publication date: December 1, 2008

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