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Women who use drugs are one of the most maligned, misunderstood and maltreated groups in contemporary culture and society. Despite this, little public outcry nor empathy…
Women who use drugs are one of the most maligned, misunderstood and maltreated groups in contemporary culture and society. Despite this, little public outcry nor empathy is given. As a woman who uses drugs, the author examines what lies behind this neglect. A post-structuralist approach is taken in order to examine the categories of meaning assigned to bodies under the twin ruling structures of prohibition and patriarchy. This is done with the intent to better understand and challenge the process of (masculinist) knowledge-making and practices surrounding women who use drugs that treats us as mere objects of knowledge. Furthermore, this chapter draws from feminist auto-ethnography, as the author uses own personal experiences as a woman who uses drugs, a feminist and a drug user advocate as a lens through which to give form to this analysis. Ultimately, the author argue that it is time to let go of outdated, unjust and prejudicial images by challenging established norms and practices, test and apply new theories and negotiate different identities outside of those currently available to women who use drugs. In undertaking this piece, the author hopes that the critical reflections contained within this chapter can ‘cause some trouble’, by being politically useful for the growing movement surrounding women who use drugs.
Prenatal comes from the Latin words ‘prae’ and ‘natalis’ meaning ‘before’ and ‘to be born’, respectively (Concise Oxford Dictionary, 1995). This word is semiotically…
Prenatal comes from the Latin words ‘prae’ and ‘natalis’ meaning ‘before’ and ‘to be born’, respectively (Concise Oxford Dictionary, 1995). This word is semiotically loaded because ‘prenatal’ connotes the time before being born. The word itself signifies the foetus (who is ‘before being born’) not the pregnant body within whom the foetus grows. If medical experts working within the discipline of reproductive medicine concentrate more on the foetus and its health than the pregnant woman, they take this meaning to heart. Experts argue that ‘a multidisciplinary approach to the foetus is essential part of antenatal screening’ (Malone, 1996, p. 157), a view suggesting that the foetus, more than a pregnant woman, is the physician's main focus during the prenatal period.
Critical drug studies have developed a significant body of work that illuminates understanding of gender and drug use as well as drug pleasures. However, framing the study…
Critical drug studies have developed a significant body of work that illuminates understanding of gender and drug use as well as drug pleasures. However, framing the study of women and their drug pleasures through critical drug studies presents potential limitations. The posthuman turn de-emphasises the primary goal of drug use: a particular subjective experience. Both the language and theoretical frameworks of new materialism potentially distance researchers, as interlocutors, from engaging the human experience of drug pleasures, rendering drug use abstract and unknowable.
In a historical context in which women’s intoxication has invoked shaming and criminalisation, control of their bodies, and silencing of dissent, scholarly activism by and inclusion of women who use drugs should be foundational to critical drug studies. Autoethnography offers a modality by which personal narrative becomes a convention of academic writing. It also presents a way of performing the self critically and authentically within conceptual frameworks that explore the complex, intersectional politics of women’s drug use, ways that are representationally missing in the scholarship. An ethics of care as part of one’s practice of the self proposes a radically different way of framing drug use. The recognition and normalisation of drug pleasures as the complicated, emergent, expressions of ethical self-care that they are for women (and all people who use drugs) promises fertile ground for future scholarly exploration. Research based in the lived experience of women who use drugs will help establish languages that resituate drug use in the phenomenology of their experience.
Purpose: After the dissolution of the Soviet Union, Belarus began to develop a national policy on reproductive health, influenced by late Soviet policy, market relations…
Purpose: After the dissolution of the Soviet Union, Belarus began to develop a national policy on reproductive health, influenced by late Soviet policy, market relations, and international actors. The central question of this research is how the issues of reproduction and woman’s health are reconsidered in post-Soviet Belarus, in light of the influence of various social and political factors.
Methodology/approach: This chapter critically examines discourses of legal regulations of reproduction and how they promote certain understandings of national security and traditional values through reproduction. In particular, the study is based on the discourse-analysis of the official legislative documents on reproduction in Belarus between 1991 and 2015.
Findings: The transformation of the post-Soviet social protection system, reproductive health care, family policy, as well as specific configuration of public discourse legitimize one model (unified and homogenized normative body that is heterosexual, fertile, healthy, prosperous) and exclude others (non-normative bodies that are non-heterosexual, infertile, unhealthy, poor, and thus precarious for the nation) in favor of the interests of biopolitical governance, nation-building, and neoliberal ideology. Moreover, legal documents legalize new principles of social stratification and produce new ideas about responsible parenthood.
Social implications: Although there is some scholarship on reproduction in Belarus, a thorough analysis of the public discourse and the legal regulations of reproduction has yet to be conducted. Contributing to the debate about post-Soviet reproductive politics, this chapter explores the influence of the biopolitical dialogue and the panic around depopulation on social policies. In particular, this chapter offers more critical perspective toward the economic and social dynamics in Belarus, taking into account the variety of processes and configurations of discourses that influence official policy.
We investigate the relationships between violence, drug use and methadone maintenance treatment (MMT) for women injection drug users (IDUs). The data presented here come…
We investigate the relationships between violence, drug use and methadone maintenance treatment (MMT) for women injection drug users (IDUs). The data presented here come from a longitudinal study of 233 IDUs both in and out of MMT in the San Francisco Bay Area. Each was interviewed five times over a period of three years, both qualitatively and quantitatively. Using grounded theory principals, we analyze 55 women's accounts of violence. We find that violence acts both as a barrier to entry to treatment and to successful treatment outcomes. Violence is related to drug use and treatment in several ways, primarily in that violence is a traumatic experience to which some women respond by using drugs. Violence may include forced drug use or methadone diversion. Violence may cause women to interrupt or postpone treatment. Finally, two women experienced violence from their treatment providers, which forced them to leave their programs. We suggest that in order to maximize successful treatment outcomes and reduce drug‐related harm for women, violence must be addressed in the treatment process.
Miriam Adelman, who holds the M. Phil. in sociology from New York University and Doctorate in Human Sciences from Universidade Federal de Santa Catarina, has been Professor of Sociology at the Universidade Federale do Paraná (UFPR), since 1992. She is responsible for initiating the first gender studies and research activities at that institution, as co-founder of its “Núcleo de Estudos de Gênero,” begun in 1994 and continuing today as the major institutional space for promoting women's and gender studies at the UFPR. In addition to current research and teaching in undergraduate and postgraduate Social Science and Sociology programs at the UFPR, she is also an active member of the Brazilian gender studies community and participates on the Editorial Board of the Revista de Estudos Feministas, one of Brazil's two major feminist academic journals. She has published numerous articles in scientific journals in Brazil and abroad, as well as book chapters on topics ranging from feminist theory, post-colonialism and contemporary sociology to women in sport and gender in film. She has one edited volume (Gênero Plural: um Debate Multi-disciplinar, 2002, Editora UFPR, with Celsi Bronstrup Silvestrin) and is currently organizing another, on gender representations in film.