Cover image for Substance use and abuse : sociological perspectives
Substance use and abuse : sociological perspectives
Shaw, Victor N.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
Westport, Conn. : Praeger, 2002.
Physical Description:
xii, 272 pages ; 24 cm
Reading Level:
1420 Lexile.
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
HV4999.2 .S52 2002 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area

On Order



While the issues of substance use and abuse have been addressed from a variety of perspectives and approaches, the fundamental social issues have not been covered in any systematic way. This book represents the first academic effort to apply major sociological theories to the field of substance use and abuse in order to provide readers with a solid knowledge base from which they may develop more informed ideas about prevention, intervention, treatment, law enforcement, and social reactions to this ubiquitous social problem. Using a systematic framework, Shaw reviews the existing literature, explains key concepts, addresses fundamental issues, and discusses the policy implications for public health, social control, community, and work. This comprehensive sociological treatment of substance use and abuse is essential reading for educators in public policy, sociology, criminology, and deviance.

Applying the major sociological theories of anomie, career, conflict, functionalist, rational choice, social control, social disorganization, social learning, social reaction, and subculture perspectives, Shaw provides an important overview of the issues involved with substance use and abuse. By utilizing such an approach, he demonstrates that public views, governmental policies, intervention strategies, and prevention programming can be informed by the different sociological theories. This unique consideration and analysis illustrates that no single view on substance use and abuse is absolute or sacred. Therefore, considering the issues from a variety of sociological perspectives will bring greater understanding to a pervasive social problem that continues to plague American society.

Author Notes

Victor N. Shaw is Assistant Professor, Department of Sociology, California State University, Northridge.

Reviews 1

Choice Review

Shaw (California State Univ. at Northridge) has insightfully and successfully compiled all the major sociological theories and perspectives for explaining drug use and abuse into one volume. Each of the ten chapters covers one of the following theories or perspectives: anomie, career, conflict, functionalist, rational choice, social control, social disorganization, social learning, social reaction, and subculture perspectives. Further, each theory or perspective has subsections organized in a logical sequence by definition, theoretical image, theoretical component, theoretical application, and empirical test. Readers looking for a comprehensive sociological review of the major theories and perspectives regarding substance use and abuse need search no further--this volume contains a wealth of detail using major theoretical perspectives dovetailed to the topic. ^BSumming Up: Essential. Anyone researching and seeking theoretical explanations about drug use. P. J. Venturelli Valparaiso University

Table of Contents

Introductionp. vii
1 The Anomie Perspectivep. 1
2 The Career Perspectivep. 25
3 The Conflict Perspectivep. 51
4 The Functionalist Perspectivep. 75
5 The Rational Choice Perspectivep. 99
6 The Social Control Perspectivep. 125
7 The Social Disorganization Perspectivep. 149
8 The Social Learning Perspectivep. 175
9 The Social Reaction Perspectivep. 199
10 The Subculture Perspectivep. 221
Conclusionp. 245
Referencesp. 249
Indexp. 263
About the Authorp. 273