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Swedish drug treatment and thepolitical use of conceptualinnovation 1882–1982
Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Centre for Social Research on Alcohol and Drugs (SoRAD).
2012 (English)In: Contemporary Drug Problems, ISSN 0091-4509, Vol. 39, no 3, 429-460 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

This article investigates the concepts applied to drug use and drug users in Sweden during the years 1882–1982. As a theoretical point of departure, concepts are treated as political tools and conceptual descriptions as political work. From an analysis of 43 public reports, three distinct periods stand out. In the first period, 1882–1962, there was no specific political need for conceptualclarity. During the second period, 1964–1969, the political need for certain (medicalized) concepts is more evident. Drug users were understood as sick and as potential objects for compulsory treatment. In the third period, during the mid-1970s and early 1980s, the process was reversed: specific concepts of sick drugusers gave way to creating the political means for bringing alcohol and other drug users under joint treatment legislation.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Heritage Hills, Somers, NY: Federal Legal Publications , 2012. Vol. 39, no 3, 429-460 p.
Keyword [en]
conceptual history, medicalization, Sweden, 20th Century, drug treatment
National Category
History Social Work
Research subject
History; Caring Sciences; Social Work; Occupational and Environmental Medicine
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-81328OAI: diva2:560880
Beroendevårdens politik och begreppsliggörandets dynamik: benämningar på problematisk drickande och drogbruk i Finland och Sverige 1911-2011. FAS 2009-1720Centre of Excellence: Exclusion and Inclusion in the Late Welfare State - the Case of Alcohol and Drugs. FAS 2006-1523
FAS, Swedish Council for Working Life and Social Research, 2009-1720FAS, Swedish Council for Working Life and Social Research, FAS 2006-1523
Available from: 2012-10-16 Created: 2012-10-16 Last updated: 2012-11-09Bibliographically approved

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Edman, Johan
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