This is a classic neutralisation technique for, as Coggans and McKellar have noted, ‘the assumption that drug use is caused by peer pressure places the blame on others and away from the drug user’ Studies in the Sociology of Deviance. Given the evidence that drug use increases fairly dramatically in the last few years of compulsory schooling ISDD , the study concentrated on year olds, though nearly a quarter of the respondents were aged I don’t mind people who take speed or like a joint [cannabis] now and again or something like that but I don’t like the sort of people who take like coke and that. Of particular relevance is their rejection of the view that delinquents belong to some form of subcultural ‘otherness’. Eighteen of the school-based respondents had recently participated in a drugs workshop. This quantitative and qualitative research was the largest single survey of adolescent drug use in Britain, although its findings are similar in many respects to the numerous, smaller local and national cross-sectional studies that began in the mids and have continued since.

The drug-using experience of twelve of them was limited to cannabis which, as well as being the most widely used drug, was also the most frequently used: But I don’t want to do it. Given that proponents of the normalisation thesis have tended to concentrate on measures of lifetime use whether a respondent has used an illicit drug at some time in their life it is worth noting that the extent to which such measures illuminate young people’s drug using habits is limited. Socialisation Characteristics and Adolescent Drug Use’. Much more common among non-users was the attempt to avoid meaningful relationships with drug users.

During the month preceding the respective surveys, it was limited to about a quarter of them.

Has drug use among young people become normalised? – GCSE Sociology – Marked by

The explanation of contemporary drug use offered by these authors is underpinned by a subcultural perspective in which the liberal permissive- ness of youth culture is contrasted with the conservative restrictiveness of the adult world.

Of particular relevance is their rejection of the view that delinquents belong to some form of subcultural ‘otherness’. But sadly much of it has parkerz couched in highly emotive terms. While Measham et al.

What does it mean to be a young adult in a world without a clear moral consensus, where political ambivalence is notmalisation, where people have high psychological, educational and material expectations, but face the experience of fragmented families and communities?


The authors are grateful to Charlie Lloyd and Malcolm Ramsay for comments on an initial draft of this article. Given the existence of large-scale surveys, we are in a much better position than previously to estimate levels of illicit drug use. Janet Paraskeva, then Director of the National Youth Agency, speaking to the London Drug Policy Forum Conference argued that ‘cannabis use by young people is not deviant behaviour.

Has drug use among young people become normalised?

If drug education is to have a chance of success we must separate the soft drug culture embraced by so many young people from the hard drug culture which threatens us all’ quoted in Pike I wouldn’t say they were addicted, I wouldn’t say they were doing it too much, but I mean you can’t tell someone what to do and what not to do, it’s the way it is these days.

I don’t know whether it’s true or not but I know some padkers have happened like that where people have had hallucinations and they thought that them things, I know somebody’s jumped in front of a train, thought they were Superman and stuff. Most felt that such a response was inappropriate and likely to be counter-productive. If they [people] take drugs they’re the ones that are going tesis suffer at the end, that’s all I can say because they shouldn’t have got into that mess in the first place, that’s what I think.

Many of the qualitative quotes from young people are describing the drugs they took, how they took them, when and where. This book provides a full account of the North West Longitudinal Study of adolescent drug use.

So what’s sensible about not doing it?

If one of my mates was doing drugs really bad, every night or coke [cocaine], you’d say to them ‘sort it out because you’re messing yourself up’, like if you were out with your mate and you were pulling a girl, you were out with them and sometimes you see a nice couple of girls and you’re really after them and your mates are out of it, he’s just going to be laughing, and she’s going ‘what’s wrong with him, he’s a div [idiot]’ and then she’s going to think oh he’s a div as well and they’re just going to leave it patkers then you think, what I am hanging around with him for?


This did not, however, necessarily involve users gravitating towards each other as might be expected Battjes ; Oetting and Beauvais Receive exclusive offers and updates from Oxford Academic. A third of the ISRD respondents who had ever used cannabis, and nearly half of the respondents who had ever used amphetamine, had not done so during the last year; the latter pattern also holds for use of LSD and ecstasy. Accounts of Health and Illness from East London.

The school-based interviews were augmented by ethnographic work con- ducted in three youth clubs nogmalisation the borough.

Keep healthy, you can think better, you can sit there and you can think, puff a draw [cannabis] and you might forget things, put a pen down there and completely forget about it.

Institute for the Study of Drug Dependence. Thesos never even normlaisation so I don’t want to get into anything like that, plus once you start hanging around with these gangs and then, if I try it, I think I probably might get addicted or something and then have problems later on. Knowledge and Perception of Risks’.

parkers normalisation thesis

Given that youth clubs, arguably, provide a more relaxed setting than schools and one in which young people feel more able to ‘be themselves’ this source pakrers information was particularly useful.

Once again, predictably, shorter time-frame measures produce more conservative results. Much more common among non-users was the attempt to avoid meaningful relationships with drug users. Similarly, in relation to the death of Leah Betts, the same newspaper reported that ‘an underground movement, which thessi in with the advent of house music to this country, has almost invisibly expanded into a giant culture.

By the time that the majority of Parker et al.

It would be a shame if the academic community continues to ignore such warnings and inadvertently adds fuel to the fire. In seeking to understand the views of respondents who had used drugs, the work of Matza and Sykes and Matza is important.

parkers normalisation thesis

You can easily have a laugh can’t you, with your mates.