1st Edition

Cultural Ecstasies Drugs, Gender and the Social Imaginary

By Ilana Mountian Copyright 2013
    168 Pages
    by Routledge

    168 Pages
    by Routledge

    In this important contribution to the field, Ilana Mountian critically analyses discourses surrounding drug addiction, drug prohibition, treatment and prevention, and highlights new ways of understanding the role that gender plays in the ethics of drug use across cultures.

    The book analyses the discourses of religion, criminality and medicine, and shows how they, combined with key historical events, affect our views of drug use and drug users based on gender, race and class.

    The book draws on research from a variety of fields to provide alternative conceptual and methodological perspectives on the subject, including:

    • critical theory
    • gender studies
    • post-colonial studies
    • psychoanalysis
    • philosophy.

    Cultural Ecstasies is an innovative study of drugs and addiction, and will be of great interest to students, researchers and professionals working in psychology, sociology, social work, health care, criminology, and allied disciplines.

    Introduction 1. Conceptualising the Social Imaginary 2. Historical Discourses of Drugs 3. Discourses of Addiction 4. Drug Use and the Social Imaginary 5. Gender in the Social Imaginary of Drugs 6. Drug Policies.


    Ilana Mountian is an Honorary Research Fellow and a member of the Discourse Unit at Manchester Metropolitan University, UK. She also currently holds a postdoctoral research position at the Universidade de São Paolo, Brazil. Her research practice involves the application of inter-disciplinary perspectives, including critical theories, gender studies, post-colonial studies and psychoanalysis, to the study of drug use, immigration and gender.

    "[We] found that [this book] had a great deal to offer about how the current taken-for-granted world of drugs and drug-taking has been socially constructed overtime... Mountian paints a fascinating picture of the medical, juridical and other realms that have fostered and been fostered by discourses that create drugs...There is also a hefty dose of theory around, for example, race, calss, gender and sexuality... presented in the context of rich historical materials... [The] analysis is sharp and fast-paced, and there are many entertaining moments... Overall, we think Mountian has made an important contribution to the literature on drugs and produced a text which...is in fact an interesting, fun and in places inspiring read." - Martin Terre Blanche and Khonzi Mbatha, Department of Psychology, University of South Africa, Psychology in Society