Politicians and the media have both used their power to construct the image of the addict in the

2000 WordsApr 23, 20198 Pages
Politicians and the media have both used their power to construct the image of the addict in the United States. It is not wrong that they have constructed an image, but the image that they have constructed is not true. Politicians and the media have scapegoated the addict for their own benefit. In Henry Brownstein’s article, The Social Reality of Violence and Violent Crime, he looks at how the United Stated has constructed the image of violence being associated with the drug user. Additionally, his article looks at how politicians such as Harry Anslinger built their career off these violence and drug narratives without statistical evidence. Furthermore, Craig Reinarman and Cere Duskin explain further how society can be fooled by…show more content…
People like the poor live hard lives and use drugs as an escape. Arnold Trebach in his study saw heroin playing an important role in the treatment of sick people (Brownstein, 2000: 21). Criminologist Edwin Schur asked “Why are we continuing to treat the addict as a criminal when he is in need of our help?” (Brownstein, 2000: 21). Many of these people made good arguments about why drugs were going to stay and why we need them. Another reason it was gaining attention was because of tensions between socio-economic groups, minorities, and different generations of people (Brownstein, 2000: 21). For example, a sociologist named Troy Duster said that in the year 1900 most drug addicts where middle age and middle class White women, while in 1969 most were lower and working class young Blacks (Brownstein, 2000: 21). During the lower half of the nineteenth century there was more hostility towards Blacks than White women (Brownstein, 2000: 21). To illuminate, in the 1920’s and 1930’s the use of marijuana was acceptable and was legally used by the middle class (Brownstein, 2000: 22). It became socially unacceptable when Blacks in the South and Mexicans in the Southwest started to use it (Brownstein, 2000: 22). Once groups like this gain the title of a drug user they are associated with may traits. This is called the master status, where once defined with drug use they are also

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