Call for papers: Ethnographies of drug use among urban youths in Asia for special issue of International Journal of Drug Policy

To be confident, attractive and happy: Ethnographies of drug use among urban youths in Asia

Guest editors: Anita Hardon and David Hymans

We seek contributions that present ethnographic insights on how urban youths in Asia use a broad range of illicit narcotics as well as (off-label) pharmaceuticals and cosmetic chemicals to achieve their desired mental and bodily states in daily life. Our premise is that to understand drug use (thus broadly construed) among youths, we need to examine the purposes for which drugs are used  in their own terms.

We are especially interested in contributions that give central importance to the social relations surrounding drug use, including how knowledge of specific substances travels through youth networks, the internet, the creative marketing of novel drugs, and from the prescribing practices of medical professionals. Ethnographic questions to be addressed in the papers include: Why do youths turn to drugs? What effects are they seeking? What role do drugs play in calming their fears, in achieving their dreams and aspirations, in shaping their bodies? Which drugs do they use on a daily basis? Where and in what social context? Which drugs or combinations of drugs do youths experiment with? What desired or adverse effects do they experience? What (if any) social transformations ensue through their use? How are the drugs administered? Are they mixed with other substances? Where do youths get information on (new) drugs, and on their (adverse) effects? How is chemical use related to their working lives? How are drug-use practices embedded in and conditioned by ever-changing urban youth cultures, local drug markets, health care institutions and policies, and by state and police interventions that constrain availability and use in various ways?

Abstracts (not to exceed 350 words) are invited for contributions to this forthcoming special issue of the International Journal of Drug Policy ( We invite three types of contributions (3,000-6,000 words):

Research papers: based on original ethnographic research conducted in Asia.

Methods papers: presenting innovations in ethnographic methods to study drug use among youths (such as visual and virtual ethnography).

Analyses of youth drug use policies and programs in Asia: a critical review of policies and programs that aim to change drug use practices among youth in order to reduce harm and protect their health. We welcome both contemporary and historical analyses.

Abstracts should be emailed to and by December 31, 2012. The email subject heading should read IJDP Special Issue. The editors will inform authors by January 16, 2013 whether to proceed to full submission. If selected, complete manuscripts will be due by April 3, 2013. All manuscripts are subject to the normal IJDP peer review process. The special issue will be published in the fall of 2013.

Drs. M.C. (Martine) de Rooij
University of Amsterdam
Research Manager
Amsterdam Institute for Social Science Research
Programme Group Anthropology of Health, Care and the Body
020-5252503  Room S0.06
Present: Monday, Tuesday and Thursday

source: H-Asia


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