Drugs, Culture and Control - SO689

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Module delivery information

Location Term Level1 Credits (ECTS)2 Current Convenor3 2020 to 2021
Autumn 6 15 (7.5) DR C Chatwin checkmark-circle


This module will be divided into three parts: the first will offer an analysis of current and potential methods of drug control; the second will explore cultural contexts of illicit drug use within modern society; the third will consider and evaluate practical issues facing drug policy makers of today. Each will be considered in a global context. Particular emphasis will be placed on theoretical arguments underpinning the major debates in this field and up-to-date research will be drawn upon throughout.


This module appears in the following module collections.

Contact hours

22 hours (11 lectures followed by 11 seminars)

Method of assessment

Coursework - Short Answer Assignment - 15%
Coursework - Essay (3000 words) - 85%

Indicative reading

Blackman S (2004) Chilling Out: the Cultural Politics of Substance Consumption, Youth and Drug Policy. Maidenhead: Open University Press
Gelder K & Thornton S (Eds) (1997) The Subcultures Reader. London: Routledge
Manning P (2007) Drugs and Popular Culture: Drugs, Media and Identity in Contemporary Society. Cullompton: Willan
South N (1998) Drugs: Cultures, Controls and Everyday Life. London: Sage
Thornton S (1995) Club Cultures: Music, Media and Subcultural Capital. Cambridge: Polity Press
Chatwin, C. (2018) Towards more effective global drug policies Palgrave Macmillan

See the library reading list for this module (Canterbury)

Learning outcomes

On successfully completing the module students will be able to:
-Critically evaluate differing styles of illicit drug control.
-Display a systematic understanding of the links between illicit drugs and cultural contexts.
-Offer systematic and critical analysis of current policy issues in the field of illicit drugs.
-Make links between and critically evaluate important debates in the field of illicit drugs and their theoretical underpinnings.
-Discuss, analyse and critically evaluate illicit drugs issues within a global framework.

They will also be able to:
-Gather appropriate library and web-based resources for undergraduate study; make critical judgments about their merits accurately utilising techniques for analysing of research and empirical data.
-Synthesise and critically evaluate theoretical contributions of different schools and disciplines of enquiry
-Demonstrate the ability to use the available evidence to construct and sustain an argument to be presented using a range of methods to specialist and non-specialist audiences


  1. Credit level 6. Higher level module usually taken in Stage 3 of an undergraduate degree.
  2. ECTS credits are recognised throughout the EU and allow you to transfer credit easily from one university to another.
  3. The named convenor is the convenor for the current academic session.
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