An ethico-aesthetics of injecting drug use: body, space, memory, capital
AuthorMalins, Peta Husper
AffiliationArts, School of Social and Political Sciences
Document TypePhD thesis
CitationsMalins, P. H. (2009). An ethico-aesthetics of injecting drug use: body, space, memory, capital. PhD thesis, Arts and School of Social and Political Sciences, The University of Melbourne.
Access StatusOpen Access
Deposited with permission of the author © 2009 Dr. Peta Husper Malins.
Harm minimisation approaches to illicit drug use have proven extremely successful in reducing drug-related harm and improving health outcomes for those using drugs, their families and the broader community. Despite these successes, however, many harm minimisation programmes face strong community opposition, and many others are limited in their effectiveness by their reluctance to acknowledge the complex ways in which drug using contexts, social relationships, desire, pleasure and aesthetics are involved in the production and reduction of drug-related harm.[NP] Deleuze and Guattari’s ethico-aesthetic philosophy offers a conceptual framework through which to begin to grapple with the sensory and affective elements of illicit drug use and their implications for an embodied ethics. Following an introduction to their key concepts, this thesis explores the implications of their ontology for understandings of injecting drug use across four inter-related dimensions: the drug using body; urban spaces of injecting; public overdose memorials; and drug referenced, ‘heroin chic’ advertising imagery. It argues that aesthetics and ethics are complexly intertwined, and that ethically positive responses to drug use require an active appreciation of the ways in which aesthetics affect bodies and their capacities to form relations with others.
Keywordsdrugs; heroin; Deleuze; Guattari; philosophy; aesthetics; ethics; urban space; heroin chic; memorials; advertising; bodies; gender
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