The Anthropology of Drugs  book cover
1st Edition

The Anthropology of Drugs

  • Available for pre-order on June 19, 2023. Item will ship after July 10, 2023
ISBN 9780367625269
July 10, 2023 Forthcoming by Routledge
216 Pages

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USD $46.95

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Book Description

From khat to kava to ketamine, drugs are constitutive parts of cultures, identities, economies and livelihoods. This much-needed book is a clear introduction to the anthropology of drugs, providing a cutting-edge and accessible overview of the topic. The authors examine and assess the following key topics:

  • How drugs feature in anthropology and the work of anthropologists and the general role of drugs in society
  • Comparison between biochemical and pharmacological approaches to drugs and bio-socio-cultural models of understanding drugs
  • Evolutionary origins of psychotropic drug sensitivity and archaeological evidence for the spread of psychoactive substances in pre-history
  • drugs in spiritual and religions contexts, considering their role in altered states of consciousness, divination, and healing
  • stimulant drugs and the ambivalence with which they are treated in society
  • • Addiction and dependency
  • Drug economies, livelihoods and the production and distribution segments of drug commodity chains
  • Drug policies and drug wars
  • Drugs, race and gender
  • The future of the study of drugs and anthropological professional engagements with solving drug problems

With the inclusion of chapter summaries and many examples, further reading and case studies-- including drug tourism, drug industries in the Philippines and Mexico, Afghanistan and the 'Golden Triangle' and the opioid crisis in North America -- The Anthropology of Drugs is an ideal introduction for those coming to the topic for the first time, and also for those working in the professional and health sectors. As well as students of anthropology, it will be of interest to those in related disciplines including sociology, psychology, health studies and religion.

Table of Contents

1. Introducing the Anthropology of Drugs  2. Anthropological Themes and Approaches in the Study of Drugs  3. Drugs in Archaeological and Historical Perspectives  4. Food of the Gods?: Psychedelics, spirits and healing  5. Stimulating Sociality  6. Perspectives on Addiction in Anthropology 7. Drug Economies, Livelihoods, and Development  8. The Drug War and its Effects  9. Postlude: Engagements and Future Directions

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Neil Carrier is Associate Professor in Social Anthropology at the University of Bristol, UK. He has conducted much research into the production, trade and consumption of khat in Kenya and beyond, as well as further research into the theme of drugs, including a current project on cannabis in Africa. Wider interests include film, photography and urban development in Kenya.

Lisa L. Gezon is Professor and Chair of the Department of Anthropology, University of Alabama-Birmingham, USA. She has studied political ecology and protected area management in Madagascar. She developed an interest in the production, trade, and consumption of khat in northern Madagascar because of its perceived threat to the protected forest. She has also studied multiple topics related to health and wellness on topics of tourism, yoga, and exercise on a bicycle-pedestrian trail.