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A Momentary Lapse of Reason. Neoliberal Subjectivity and Recreational Drug Use

TitleA Momentary Lapse of Reason. Neoliberal Subjectivity and Recreational Drug Use
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2014
AuthorsMori L
Secondary TitleITALIAN JOURNAL OF SOCIOLOGY OF EDUCATION
Volume6
Issue3
Pagination70-103
Date Published10/2014
PublisherPadova University Press
Place PublishedPadova, IT
ISSN Number2035-4983
Keywordsdrug consumption, Foucault, governmentality, rationality
Abstract

As suggested by M. Foucault, neoliberal governamental form of power is a very effective pedagogical tool able to produce a specific form of subjectivity. This paper is aimed at empirically investigating this kind of identity from the particular viewpoint of drug consumption. Through an analysis of the empirical material gathered through the qualitative techniques of the in-depth interview, the group interview and participant observation, the article will explore the individual subjectivities of a number of young drug users. The focus of the analysis will be prevalently on the way in which the interviewees handle their own and their peers’ consumption, as well as the criteria they adopt to decide where the line lies between recreational drug-taking and drug abuse. The issue of drug use was not chosen at random. As it stands on the crossroads between freedom and addiction, pleasure and pain, autonomous action and neurochemical conditioning, it constitutes (as we shall argue below) probably one of the most controversial elements of the governmental culture, one that can shed light on many of the characteristics of subjectivity that it produces.

URLhttp://ijse.padovauniversitypress.it/2014/3/5
DOI10.14658/pupj-ijse-2014-3-5
Paper: