Symbolism and Rationality in the Politics of Psychoactive Substances

Substance Use: Individual Behaviour, Social Interactions, Markets and Politics

ISBN: 978-0-76231-233-7, eISBN: 978-1-84950-361-7

ISSN: 0731-2199

Publication date: 23 September 2005

Abstract

Psychoactive substances take on many symbolic meanings, and thus the politics of psychoactive substances has featured symbolic elements, or value-based rationality, alongside and often dominating instrumental rationality. Drawing particularly on the work of Joseph Gusfield and Nordic scholars, the chapter considers the symbolic dimension in the politics of substance use, even in Nordic countries celebrated for their societal commitment to knowledge-based policymaking, and its effects on the interplay of science and policy.

Citation

Room, R. (2005), "Symbolism and Rationality in the Politics of Psychoactive Substances", Lindgren, B. and Grossman, M. (Ed.) Substance Use: Individual Behaviour, Social Interactions, Markets and Politics (Advances in Health Economics and Health Services Research, Vol. 16), Emerald Group Publishing Limited, Bingley, pp. 331-346. https://doi.org/10.1016/S0731-2199(05)16016-6

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2005, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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