Wasted: Performing Addiction in America

1st Edition

Heath A. Diehl

Routledge
Published November 28, 2015
Reference - 220 Pages
ISBN 9781472442376 - CAT# Y254577
Series: The Cultural Politics of Media and Popular Culture

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Summary

Departing from the scholarly treatment of addiction as a form of rhetoric or discursive formation, Wasted: Performing Addiction in America focuses on the material, lived experience of addiction and the ways in which it is shaped by a ’metaphor of waste’, from the manner in which people describe the addict, the experience of inebriation or his or her systematic exclusion from various aspects of American culture. With analyses of scientific and popular cultural texts such as novels and films, scholarly or medical models of addiction, reality television, TV drama, public health and anti-addiction campaigns, and the lives of celebrities who struggled with addiction, this book recovers the sense of materiality in which the experience of substance abuse is anchored, revealing addiction to be a set of socio-cultural practices, historically-contingent events and behaviours. Exploring the ways in which addiction as an identity construct, as a social problem, and as a lived experience is always and already circumscribed by the metaphor of waste, Wasted: Performing Addiction in America advances the idea that addiction constitutes a site of social control beyond the individual, through which American citizenship is regulated and the ’nation’ itself is imagined, demarcated, and contained. As such, it will appeal to scholars of popular culture, cultural and media studies, performance studies, sociology and American culture.

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