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Understanding risk behaviours: How the sociology of deviance may contribute? The case of drug-taking

Listed author(s):
  • Peretti-Watel, Patrick
  • Moatti, Jean-Paul

This paper argues that the sociology of deviance can be used to improve our understanding of some difficulties and unintended effects of health-promotion interventions designed to change risk behaviours, especially drug-taking. Firstly, many people engaged in 'risk behaviours' tend to deny the 'risky' label just as delinquents neutralise the 'deviant' label, and preventive information itself may be used by individuals in shaping risk denial. Secondly, deliberate risk-taking may be an 'innovative deviance',which is related to difficulties of conforming to the dominant 'risk culture'. Health promotion is likely to be quite ineffective if it remains wedded to the dominant risk culture and de facto contributes to the spread of it.

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Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Social Science & Medicine.

Volume (Year): 63 (2006)
Issue (Month): 3 (August)
Pages: 675-679

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Handle: RePEc:eee:socmed:v:63:y:2006:i:3:p:675-679
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  1. Monaghan, Lee F., 2002. "Vocabularies of motive for illicit steroid use among bodybuilders," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 55(5), pages 695-708, September.
  2. Crawford, Robert, 1994. "The boundaries of the self and the unhealthy other: Reflections on health, culture and AIDS," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 38(10), pages 1347-1365, May.
  3. Skolbekken, John-Arne, 1995. "The risk epidemic in medical journals," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 40(3), pages 291-305, February.
  4. Hayes, Michael V., 1992. "On the epistemology of risk: Language, logic and social science," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 35(4), pages 401-407, August.
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