DRUGS AND SOCIETY - 2020/1

Module code: SOC2078

Module Overview

This module explores the relationship between drugs and wider society. We focus on four core areas; First, what constitutes a ‘drug’ and how this is socio-culturally variable. Second, trends and patterns in drug use over time and how these may be explained through different sociological perspectives: Third, the module looks at market, dealers and shifting regulatory reactions to drug use.  Finally, the module explores the boundaries between health and illness and drugs and society.  We look at shifting models of ‘addiction’ and ‘recovery’; as well micro approaches which explore the everyday worlds of users.

Module provider

Sociology

Module Leader

MEADOWS Robert (Sociology)

Number of Credits: 15

ECTS Credits: 7.5

Framework: FHEQ Level 5

JACs code: L310

Module cap (Maximum number of students): N/A

Module Availability

Semester 1

Prerequisites / Co-requisites

None

Module content

Indicative content includes:

Definitions


  • Defining drugs

  • Functional intoxication, pharmaceuticals and ‘enhancement’



Use and users


  • Drugs and alcohol in historical perspective

  • Contemporary prevalence and patterns

  • Sociological perspectives on drug use/The normalisation thesis



Responses


  • Markets, dealers and social supply

  • Governing drugs and their users

  • Drug Scares and Moral Panics



Health, illness, ‘addiction’ and ‘recovery’


  • Changing meanings of medical approaches and biopolitics

  • Harm reduction

  • Drug use in everyday life

  • Narratives of recovery


Assessment pattern

Assessment type Unit of assessment Weighting
Oral exam or presentation GROUP PRESENTATION 30
Coursework 2500 WORD ESSAY 70

Alternative Assessment

N/A

Assessment Strategy

The assessment strategy is designed to provide students with the opportunity to demonstrate





Learning Outcome


Assessed by





  • Demonstrate an understanding of key debates about what a ‘drug’ is (C/K);

  • Critically evaluate a wide range of theoretical perspectives, which seek to explain drug use in contemporary society (C,K)

  • Analyse current debates licit and ilicit drugs (C, K, T)



 


Formatively through class discussions. Summatively by group presentation





  • Demonstrate an understanding of how constructions of ‘drugs’ and ‘drug users’ shape our responses to them (C/K)

  • Demonstrate a sociological understanding of medical approaches to ‘addiction’ and ‘recovery; as well as the everyday life of drug users (C,K)



 


Formatively through class discussions.

Summatively through essay





 

Thus, the summative assessment for this module consists of:


  • A Group Presentation. Students will be asked to select a ‘drug’ and then present a critical evaluation of definition, trends and use

  • 2500 Word Essay submitted at the end of the course



Formative assessment & Feedback

Students are encouraged to undertake preparatory reading for each session and to engage in peer review and feedback during classroom discussion. All questions are then discussed in formative group feedback between lecturer and students.

Students also have the opportunity to produce a formative plan prior to submission of each assessment component and to discuss this plan with the lecturer. Classroom time is devoted to discussion and feedback concerning presentation and essay techniques.

Module aims

  • Introduce students to debates surrounding ‘what is a drug’
  • Introduce different sociological perspectives on ‘drug use’ and enable students to critically engage with them
  • Develop students’ sociological understanding of drug markets and social supply
  • Enable students to critically engage with the changing meanings of medical approaches to ‘addiction’ and ‘recovery’
  • Enable students to critically evaluate current debates surrounding licit and illict drugs,

Learning outcomes

Attributes Developed Ref
001 Demonstrate an understanding of key debates about what a ‘drug’ is KC
002 Critically evaluate a wide range of theoretical perspectives, which seek to explain drug use in contemporary society KC
003 Demonstrate an understanding of how constructions of ‘drugs’ and ‘drug users’ shape our responses to them KC
004 Demonstrate a sociological understanding of medical approaches to ‘addiction’ and ‘recovery; as well as the everyday life of drug users KC
005 Analyse current debates licit and illicit drugs KCT

Attributes Developed

C - Cognitive/analytical

K - Subject knowledge

T - Transferable skills

P - Professional/Practical skills

Overall student workload

Methods of Teaching / Learning

The learning and teaching strategy is designed to:

Present key information to students supported by weekly required reading/exercises; and provide the opportunity for students to discuss the ideas presented in more depth.

The learning and teaching methods include:


  • 11 x 2 hour sessions consisting of both lecture and seminar discussion

  • Weekly reading and seminar preparation

  • Formative discussion priort to group presentation

  • Formative essay plan


Indicated Lecture Hours (which may also include seminars, tutorials, workshops and other contact time) are approximate and may include in-class tests where one or more of these are an assessment on the module. In-class tests are scheduled/organised separately to taught content and will be published on to student personal timetables, where they apply to taken modules, as soon as they are finalised by central administration. This will usually be after the initial publication of the teaching timetable for the relevant semester.

Reading list

Reading list for DRUGS AND SOCIETY : http://aspire.surrey.ac.uk/modules/soc2078

Please note that the information detailed within this record is accurate at the time of publishing and may be subject to change. This record contains information for the most up to date version of the programme / module for the 2020/1 academic year.