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Researching 'Recreational' Drug Use in Leisure Spaces

Project: Non-funded ProjectProjects

1/11/05 → …

Our ongoing and longstanding research looks at 'recreational' drug use in leisure spaces such as bars, nightclubs, dance music events, festivals and domestic settings (ie afterparties/chillouts). The focus is on clubbing and related alcohol, novel psychoactive substances (NPS) and illegal drug use as a leisure practices situated withint the context of the criminalisation and commercialisation of rave/club culture as a national and global phenomenon. Using a variety of methods including in situ self report surveys, qualitiative interviews, focus groups and participant observation, we are attempting to 'build a picture' of club and drug cultures. This includes work on social class, gender, sexuality, 'race' and ethnicity and alcohol/drug use.

Previous and current research activities and outputs analyse emergent drug trends (EDT), including the enduring appeal of ecstasy in dance music communities, social apsects of ketamine use, MDMA powder/crystal as a 'premium product', GHB/GBL use in London's 'gay community, and the emergence of NPS, and the use of unknown white powders (ie. Bubble).

We work to map prevelance and use patterns, contexts, meanings, motivations and consequences for drug users. We also study 'official responses' to drug use and rave/club culture and offering a critique of natioanal and international drug policy, looking for example at the 'criminalisation of intoxication' in the UK's night-time economy.

We also undertake work with club-goers (across a diverse range of social groupings, types of venues, music genres) exploring the forms, content, and participant understandings of practices undertaken before, during, and after a 'big night out'. We also engage in debates about the production of knowledge about clubbing and drugs in relation of partial insider research and 'reluctant reflexivity'.

We work with a range of people including other alcohol/drug and club researchers, alcohol/drug service practitioners, medics and law enforcement. We are situated within Alcohol/Drug Studies, Applied Social Science, Club Studies, Criminology, Sociology and Youth Studies.

Our research is detailed on our website www.clubbingresearch.com. This website offers information on all these projects and its aimed at academic, practitioner and lay audiences.


For clubbers, by clubbers.

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