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    ABSTRACT: Cannabis (marijuana) has undergone a normalizing process as indicated by high use rates, social tolerance, and broader cultural acceptance of its use in many countries. Yet, consistent with its status as a banned drug, users still face the threat of legal sanctions and experiences of stigma that challenge the assumptions of the normalization thesis. In this paper we shed light on extra-legal forms of stigma based on in-depth interviews with marijuana users (N = 92) randomly recruited in the city of Toronto. Notwithstanding indications of a normalizing process in respondents’ understanding and experience of use, mainstream conventional perspectives about cannabis as risky, even marginal or deviant, were prominent as well. The findings are interpreted with reference to Goffman’s (1963) theoretical distinction between normalization and the more apt description of normification reflected in the attitudes of marijuana users. Consistent with the latter term, these data indicate that stigma is internalized by users which results in the active reinforcement and performance of established cultural requirements emphasizing self-control.
    Criminology and Criminal Justice 10/2011; 11(5):451-469. DOI:10.1177/1748895811415345 · 0.56 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The life course perspective provides a theoretical framework, concepts, and analytical tools for examining how individual lives unfold in historical and institutional contexts. Nearly a half century ago, C. Wright Mills described the task and promise of the sociological imagination as the ability to “grasp history and biography and the relations between the two” (Mills 1959: 6). In the intervening decades since Mills’ plea for the sociological imagination, life course scholars have illuminated both the challenge and promise of this endeavor, focusing on the importance of a dynamic view of individuals and their social contexts. The growth of a wide array of large, longitudinal data collections and the increasing availability of a wide range of statistical tools for longitudinal analysis have made attention to the dynamics of lives in context increasingly possible. In turn, interest in innovative methodologies and the availability of large, national data sets that focus on particular life stages, such as adolescence, midlife, or later life, have encouraged more scholars to incorporate elements of life course perspective in their research.
    12/2010: pages 449-464;
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    Social Science [?] Medicine 01/2009; 69(4):632-639. · 2.56 Impact Factor


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Nov 17, 2014