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En bild säger mer än tusen ord. En studie om hur unga tjejer och killar talar om droger
Örebro University, School of Humanities, Education and Social Sciences.
Örebro University, School of Humanities, Education and Social Sciences.
2011 (Swedish)Independent thesis Basic level (degree of Bachelor), 10 credits / 15 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

The aim of this study is to examine how young people look at and perceive drugs by studying how they discuss and reason about drugs. The essay's main interest is not whether young people use drugs or not. We are primarily interested in how young people talk about drugs. The questions that we want to get answered are:

What are the beliefs that young people have about drugs, drug use and drug users? More specifically we seek answers to which images, symbols and attributes that young people links to drugs, drug use and drug users.

What is important in young people's construction of beliefs about drugs and drug users? More specifically, which are the information sources and reference groups that young people assigns significance?

We used focus group interviews as the research method. A group of girls and a group of boys at the aged of 18-20 participated in the study. As an analytical tool we used a hermeneutic interpretation analysis. We found that young people uses distinctions when they talked about drugs, drug use and abuse. Young people did for instance distinctions between alcohol and drugs, between soft and hard drugs, and between use and abuse. Alcohol was something that young people could use in the everyday life. Soft drugs, such as cannabis, were associated to party while hard drugs, such as amphetamine, were associated to social deprivation. Young people associated certain symbols, attributes and images to users and abusers. For example, they describe an abuser with words like torn and smelly. It also showed that the drug's importance will depend on the social context of the location and can differ between different contexts. This was clearly evident in the interview when the drugs on Stureplan become a symbol of status and party and when the drug occurs in a social vulnerable area, it became a symbol of mental weakness and social problems. The distinctions that young people do, speaks for a normalization of drugs.

In order to create an image of drugs, young people use normative and comparative reference groups. The normative reference groups included influential people such as parents and coaches. The young people‟s comparative reference groups were the media such as TV, films and papers. The comparative reference groups became important to the young people in the lack of normative reference groups. Their reference group, from which they get their information about drugs, is significant in how they create their own image of drugs and drug users.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2011. , 44 p.
Keyword [sv]
Narkotika, droger, narkotikabrukare, droganvändare, normalisering, referensgrupp, symboler, ungdomar
National Category
Sociology (excluding Social work, Social Psychology and Social Anthropology)
URN: urn:nbn:se:oru:diva-20421ISRN: ORU-HUS/SOC-GK-2011/0063--SEArchive number: ORU-HUS/SOC-GK-2011/0063--SEOAI: diva2:458766
Subject / course
Social and Behavioural Science, Law
Available from: 2013-04-10 Created: 2011-11-23 Last updated: 2013-04-10Bibliographically approved

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Wehlin, Jennie
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