Dissertation Abstracts

Flexible habitus and temporal modes of subjectivation: analysis on the senses and practices of poly-drug users

Author: Sánchez Antelo, Victoria I. Ma., vsanchezantelo@gmail.com
Department: Gino Germani Research Institute
University: University of Buenos Aires, Argentina
Supervisor: Ana María Mendes Diz
Year of completion: 2015
Language of dissertation: Spanish

Keywords: habitus , temporalities , polydrug use , subjectivity
Areas of Research: Body in the Social Sciences , Health , Deviance and Social Control


The purpose of this thesis is to contribute from Sociology to the analysis of the linkage between the processes of social change and the formation and transformation of the subjectivity of psychoactive drugs consumers. As a general aim, it proposes to analyze the practices and meanings that define the process of formation and transformation of the subjectivity on men and women from 18 to 35 years old, psychoactive substances polyconsumers, belonging to middle sectors from the Buenos Aires’ Metropolitan Area.
From the qualitative analysis of 29 interviews in depth, conducted in men and women from 18 to 35 years old in Buenos Aires middle class and poly-drugs users stands out the importance of Late Modernity social changes in Argentina, particularly in the Buenos Aires’ Metropolitan Area.
Temporal modes of subjectivity that involves drugs use refers to (i) to convert time in an ethical substance, which means practices and knowledges that regulate diverse temporalities that traverse drug consumption, such as feelings related to body rhythms in the context of consumption, frequencies between consumption and consumption, the life cycle phases which are lived as to be setback as well as nonspecific temporalities that turn a specific time the right "timing" for consumption. They are a range of practices that require special attention from the subject to become a normal, balanced, "easy" and "not set" consumer. (ii) The clamping mode to these regulations allows conceptualizations regarding their practices as a differentiated consumption from the precepts of health/illness, normality/abnormality. The rhetoric of risk, as a rule, leaves at the individual level all the responsibility of knows out the consumption in an unproblematic way i.e. which become evident as pleasurable. (iii) This focus is evident in the practices deployed at leisure, which can be understood as part of a sentimental education and training body. The different forms of consumption regulation, experimenting with varying substances, to manage quantities, to choose the time and the relational contexts in which consuming to maximize pleasure and to decrease displeasure require a work of a development of the self including how to recognize the right scenarios, educate the taste for the substance, the function of orienting consumption towards the pursuit of pleasure and control excess. Meaning, (iv) to orient the action towards a moral teleology which is a flexible habitus that, in the drug consumption context, presumes a regulated pleasure. These are practices through which are transforming the uses and temporary meanings in a way that is revealed a flexible habitus. A bodily hexis that enables a controlled body decontrol which controls the overflows through an increased reflexivity about the risks of pleasure and the damage arising from consumption.

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