Discourses on Drugs and Immigration: The Social Construction of a Problem

  • Benno Herzog Universidad de Valencia
  • Esperanza Gómez-Guardeño Universidad de Valencia
  • Víctor Agulló Universidad de Valencia
  • Rafael Aleixandre-Benavent Universidad de Valencia
  • Juan Carlos Valderrama-Zurian Universidad de Valencia
Keywords: migration, discourse analysis, substance abuse, Spain, marginalisation

Abstract

Drugs and drug related behaviour have always been subjected to processes of social construction and moral valuation. The aim of this article is to explore the role of drugs in discourses about immigration and to highlight the social implications of this. Twenty-two narrative interviews of native people in different districts of diverse cities of Valencia Community (Spain) were analysed according to a sociological discourse analysis model. Clear differentiation can be seen between the image of heroin addicts native to the districts themselves and the image of Latin-American immigrants who abuse alcohol. While the former were described with empathy and pity as victims of social problems and drugs, immigrants were seen as intruders, threatening coexistence in the district. These differences in discourse can lead to different social practices and therefore to the marginalisation of immigrants using their alcohol abuse as an argument. URN: urn:nbn:de:0114-fqs090172

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Author Biographies

Benno Herzog, Universidad de Valencia
Benno HERZOG is a sociologist qualified at Bonn University (Germany), researcher at the UISYS, Unidad de Información e Investgiación Social y Sanitaria, University of Valencia, CSIC and lecturer for language sociology at the Department of Sociology. Currently he is writing his PhD thesis with a research grant "V Segles" at the Department of Sociology and Social Anthropology. His research has been founded by public and private sources. His research interests include: discourse analysis, sociology of knowledge, racism, migration processes and drug dependence.
Esperanza Gómez-Guardeño, Universidad de Valencia
Esperanza GÓMEZ-GUARDEÑO is a social worker and sociologist qualified at University of Valencia. She works at the UISYS, Unidad de Información e Investgiación Social y Sanitaria, University of Valencia, CSIC. She has experience in migration processes and drug dependence and has conducted social research in this area.
Víctor Agulló, Universidad de Valencia
Víctor AGULLÓ-CALATAYUD is associated professor at the Sociology and Social Anthropology department of the University of Valencia and PhD student at the UISYS, Unidad de Información e Investgiación Social y Sanitaria (CSIC, Universitat de València). His current social research is focused on substance abuse (especially abuse of anabolic steroids and cocaine), sociology of sport, epidemiology of drugs, migration and qualitative methodology.
Rafael Aleixandre-Benavent, Universidad de Valencia
Rafael ALEIXANDRE-BENAVENT is tenured scientist at the Spanish Research Council, CSIC with a PhD in Information Science from the University of Valencia. He is an associate professor at the Documentation Department of the University of Valencia. His research has been funded by competitive sources such the Spanish National R&D Plans, the Autonomous Region of Valencia R&D Plans and others. He is member of the Advisory Board of several journals. His research areas include: research evaluation, bibliometric indicators, comparative studies on R&D outputs at the European and Spanish level, journals evaluation, information sources in S&T, and research in drug dependence and migration.
Juan Carlos Valderrama-Zurian, Universidad de Valencia
Juan Carlos VALDERRAMA-ZURIÁN is professor at the University of Valencia. He holds a PhD in Information Science from the University of Valencia and M.Sc in Drug Abuse. His current research is focused on substance abuse disorders, epidemiological studies in immigrant population, abuse of anabolic steroids and knowledge management in drug abuse and epidemiological studies. He has published more than sixty papers in journals like European Journal of Psychiatry, Addiction, Drug and Alcohol Dependence, Medicina Clínica.
Published
2008-10-30
How to Cite
Herzog, B., Gómez-Guardeño, E., Agulló, V., Aleixandre-Benavent, R., & Valderrama-Zurian, J. C. (2008). Discourses on Drugs and Immigration: The Social Construction of a Problem. Forum Qualitative Sozialforschung / Forum: Qualitative Social Research, 10(1). https://doi.org/10.17169/fqs-10.1.1191