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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 218201 
Title: Symbolic Framing of Drug Use in the News: Ecstasy and Volatile Substance Abuse in Newspapers (From Drugs and Popular Culture: Drugs, Media and Identity in Contemporary Society, P 150-167, 2007, Paul Manning, ed. -- See NCJ-218196)
Author(s): Paul Manning
Date Published: 2007
Page Count: 18
Sponsoring Agency: Willan Publishing
Portland, OR 97213-3644
Sale Source: Willan Publishing
c/o ISBS, 5804 N.E. Hassalo Street
Portland, OR 97213-3644
United States of America
Type: Issue Overview
Format: Book Chapter
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This chapter examines the differing symbolic framework used in British newspapers in reporting on volatile substance abuse (VSA) and ecstasy.
Abstract: The chapter begins by noting the disproportionate attention given to the risks associated with ecstasy consumption and the relative lack of national newspaper interest in VSA despite its significantly greater "risk" compared to ecstasy, as measured by annual mortality rates. This suggests that the symbolic frameworks used to represent ecstasy and VSA in newspaper coverage involve widely shared cultural assumptions regarding the effects of VSA and ecstasy. The continuation of these symbolic frameworks as the basis of newspaper reporting on the use of these substances involves political, cultural, and financial factors. The symbolic frameworks of news reporting are shaped by the politics, class, and economic interests of news sources. The symbolic frameworks reproduced in news discourse reinforce moral evaluations not only of kinds of substances but also of the ways in which substances are consumed and the types of people consuming them. VSA, for example, is viewed as repulsive because of the nature of the substances themselves, the ways and settings in which they are used, and the kinds of people who use VSA for a psychoactive effect. Although ecstasy is portrayed as highly risky or dangerous, it is not portrayed as "dirty" or "grubby" in the same way as solvent abuse. 71 references
Main Term(s): Public Opinion of Drug Abuse
Index Term(s): Cultural influences; Foreign drug law enforcement; Hallucinogens; MDMA (designer drug); Media coverage; Social conditions; United Kingdom (UK)
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