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A virtual academy of polydrug use: Masters, novices and the art of combinations
Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Public Health Sciences.
Number of Authors: 42018 (English)In: Nordic Studies on Alcohol and Drugs, ISSN 1455-0725, E-ISSN 1458-6126, Vol. 35, no 6, p. 413-427Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Aims: Information technology has become an essential part of drug culture, providing a platform for lay knowledge concerning drug use. Due to the co-effects of different substances, making substance combos requires advanced skills to enhance pleasures and manage risks. In this study, we focussed on Finnish and Swedish online discussions as a context for learning and sharing experiences of combining substances. Methods: Taking influences from positioning theory, we used qualitative methods to map what kinds of mutual interactive positions related to the expertise in polydrug use online discussants take and how these positions are negotiated and reformulated in the online setting. We reflect these results through Howard S. Becker's theory of social learning, according to which becoming a drug user is a process that occurs in interaction with other users, as the beginners need a model and advice from experienced users in order to claim their place in the users' community. Results: In online forums, users discuss the risks and pleasures of combining drugs - on the one hand, in relation to different situations and, on the other hand, in relation to different competence positions. This occurs by asking for advice, presenting one's knowledge, challenging others, repositioning oneself, defending one's position or proving one's competence. Conclusion: Online discussion forums constitute a kind of virtual academy where knowledge of the pleasures and risks of combining substances is produced and circulated, and where experienced masters mediate their expertise to less experienced novices.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2018. Vol. 35, no 6, p. 413-427
Keywords [en]
Finland, online community, polydrug use, positioning theory, social learning, Sweden
National Category
Public Health, Global Health, Social Medicine and Epidemiology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-163558DOI: 10.1177/1455072518770351ISI: 000454154500003OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-163558DiVA, id: diva2:1279220
Available from: 2019-01-16 Created: 2019-01-16 Last updated: 2019-01-16Bibliographically approved

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CiteExportLink to record
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Cite
Citation style
  • apa
  • ieee
  • modern-language-association-8th-edition
  • vancouver
  • Other style
More styles
Language
  • de-DE
  • en-GB
  • en-US
  • fi-FI
  • nn-NO
  • nn-NB
  • sv-SE
  • Other locale
More languages
Output format
  • html
  • text
  • asciidoc
  • rtf