Call for Papers for a Special Issue of Drugs: Education, Prevention, and Policy: The Normalisation Thesis – 20 years Later
Editors: Fiona Measham (guest editor) & Amy Pennay
Over the past 20 years, a growing body of literature has debated whether the regular, recreational use of some drugs, such as cannabis and ecstasy, has become ‘normalised’ amongst young people. The original proponents of this thesis argued that the recreational use of some drugs had become a normal, common feature of life for some young people in their pursuit of leisure and pleasure. They also argued that the use of some drugs had become socially and culturally accepted by many members of the non-drug using population (Measham et al., 1994; Parker et al. 1998).
The normalisation thesis is one of the most significant recent theoretical developments to have emerged in the youth and drug studies literature, because it differed from previous criminological and psychological theories that associated drug use with deviance or resistance, subcultural affiliation, and pathology or disease. Instead, it aimed to explain why there was such an increase in recreational drug use among people of different gender, class and ethnicity.
The normalisation thesis has been debated by researchers in the UK, other parts of Europe, Australia and New Zealand. Some of this work has supported the normalisation thesis, while some has contested it. More recent work has explored concepts such as differentiated normalisation and the micro-politics of normalisation. This special issue of Drugs: Education, Prevention and Policy will explore current developments in the normalisation thesis, particularly in the context of fairly stable trends in illicit drug use in western countries.
Manuscripts are encouraged that examine normalisation, and also de-normalisation, either through drawing on newly collected empirical data or providing critical reflection of facets of the theory in light of social or cultural shifts in drug use. We encourage manuscripts that address a range of licit and illicit drug types (i.e., emerging psychoactive/synthetic drugs, cannabis and e-cigarettes, as just a few examples). We hope to include a variety of different types of articles, as described in the Drugs: Education, Prevention, and Policy's Instructions for Authors, available at the journal's website, and we encourage submissions from a diverse range of authors, i.e., more experienced and junior researchers and researchers from developing and developed countries.
Submission process: Potential authors should submit a 500-1000 word proposal. Guest Editors for the Special Issue will review the proposals and invite selected authors to submit a full manuscript, subject to peer review. Submissions should be in English and proposals should clearly state the aims, methods and findings of the article proposed.
Abstracts should be emailed to Fiona Measham (email@example.com) and to Amy Pennay (firstname.lastname@example.org) by 1 December 2014. The email subject heading should read "DEPP Special Issue: The Normalisation Thesis – 20 years later". The editors will inform authors by 16th January 2015 whether to proceed to full submission. If selected, complete manuscripts will be due on 1st May 2015. All manuscripts will be subject to the normal DEPP peer review process. The special issue will be published in mid 2016.
Measham, F., Newcombe, R. & Parker, H. (1994) The normalisation of recreational drug use amongst young people in north-west England. British Journal of Sociology, 45(2): 287-312.
Parker, H., Aldridge, J. & Measham, F. (1998) Illegal Leisure: The normalisation of adolescent drug use, London: Routledge.