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"Their power will be your pain": an investigation into the discourses of medicinal cannabis users

"Their power will be your pain": an investigation into the discourses of medicinal cannabis users

Morris, Craig M. (2008) "Their power will be your pain": an investigation into the discourses of medicinal cannabis users. PhD thesis, University of Greenwich.

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The discourses of medicinal cannabis users are the topic of this thesis, examined by way of qualitative in-depth interviews with thirty-two medicinal cannabis users. The thesis focuses on four main aims: how medicinal users talk about their use of cannabis (including looking at what discursive resources and rhetorical devices they use); the prevalence and significance of talking about 'nature' and the 'natural' within these discourses; the differences between the accounts of different participants; and the potential of different 'types' of discourse in relation to contestation around the use of this substance for medicinal benefit. A discourse analysis approach is used that draws mainly on the work of Wetherell and Potter (1992) and Fairclough (1995; 2001). A Bourdieusian theoretical framework is employed that draws on the key concepts of field, habitus, linguistic habitus, cultural and linguistic capital and trajectory (1979; 1992).

The main findings are that whilst participants discuss a range of issues and use a range of rhetorical strategies and discursive resources in doing so, the majority of participants discursively construct cannabis in relation to ideas about nature, with cannabis frequently being articulated as 'natural' and therefore preferable to prescribed medicines, alcohol, other illicit drugs and 'chemical' / 'man-made' substances in ways that are strongly related to various notions of 'risk' (Beck, 1992). However, there is a great deal of difference between participants' discourses and these differences are underpinned by different educational and vocational trajectories, the unequal distribution of linguistic capital and differential dispositions when using language and engaging with knowledge, and are mediated by participants' different engagement with the issue of medicinal cannabis use. This emphasises the importance of an awareness of how social structuration continues to affect how individuals are capacitated and disposed to talk about and understand issues and to engage in contestation in contemporary society.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Additional Information:
Uncontrolled Keywords: cannabis, drug use, cannabis users, discourse
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HV Social pathology. Social and public welfare
R Medicine > RC Internal medicine
Pre-2014 Departments: School of Humanities & Social Sciences
School of Humanities & Social Sciences > Department of History, Philosophy and Politics
Last Modified: 14 Feb 2018 15:05

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