Editors: Beatriz Caiuby Labate,
Sandra Goulart, Maurício Fiore, Edward MacRae and Henrique Carneiro
- Researchers of NEIP (Interdisciplinary Group for Psychoactive Studies,
Support: Brazilian Ministry of Culture (MinC) and Research Support Foundation
of the State of São Paulo (Fapesp)
Format: 17 X 24 cm, illustrated - 440 p.
Price: R$ 40.00 (Brazilian Reais + shipping fee)
Coverflap of the book Drogas e Cultura:
Drugs are a paradoxical and enigmatic issue. Extremely important, omnipresent
in the day-to-day, capable of sensitizing, mobilizing, provoking controversies,
altering the trajectory of electoral disputes, spreading dissension, disturbing
the authorities, alarming families, and destabilizing the public order,
the issue of drugs is, nevertheless, almost completely absent from our
policy decisions and the academic agenda, unless we count the isolated
efforts of a few pioneers and trailblazers. No accounting of the great
national and global questions would be complete without the inclusion
of drugs; however, as extraordinary and surprising as it may seem, quite
rare is the more daring intellectual and policy endeavor that gets beyond
mere prejudice to handle the topic of drugs with depth and consistency.
This curious and lamentable curse – an accomplice of the irrationality
that largely dominates the official treatment of drugs – continues
to hover about the topic and envelop it in silence.
Thus one welcomes this effort by Beatriz Caiuby Labate, Sandra Goulart,
Maurício Fiore, Edward MacRae and Henrique Carneiro – the
researchers from NEIP (www.neip.info) who edited this volume – and
the worthy contributions of their authors, thanks to whom one of the essential
debates of our time will escape the closet, ostracism, and negligence.
The many merits of this contribution will make it an essential reference
for academic studies as well as for the kind of public discussion that
can motivate a broader audience to action.
The articles collected here teach us that drugs, the dynamics of their
production and the circuits of their semantic, conceptual-scientific,
economic, social, religious, political, aesthetic, psychological, ideological
and symbolic circulation, comprise complex, multidimensional phenomena
that require transdisciplinary approaches to be understood and handled.
In a way, drugs do not really exist: they are historical inventions whose
signifiers vary according to their cultural contexts, their specific repertoires
and their particular vocabularies. Drugs are administered by doctors and
shamans; they are objects of individual and collective use; they serve
to exclude, excommunicate, repress, bind or violate those who consume
them or those who do not consume them, depending on the case; they are
consecrated in mystical rituals; they are institutionalized in family
and social celebrations; they are objects of consumption; they have commercial
value; they are the target of legislation; they are wisdom; they are therapies.
Drugs are created by practical-discursive and historically constituted
dispositions that lead to the actualization of moral norms, accusatory
categories, exercises of power, economic strategies, pleasure-seeking
behaviors, languages that organize consciousness and sensibility, ideological
stances and experiences of sociability.
Opening itself to this practically limitless plurality of appropriations,
drugs carry an extremely rich potential for the person who can think sociologically.
Maybe it is for this reason that drugs represent risk, danger, threat
and uncertainty. A source of pleasure and of death, drugs give us pause
and, via the mediation of this book, demand to be included in the center
of our political and intellectual agenda.
Luiz Eduardo Soares (Professor at the Universidade Estudal de Rio de Janeiro
(UERJ) and the Universidade Cândido Mendes; Nova Iguaçu Municipal
Secretary for the Promotion of Life and the Prevention of Violence.
Translated by Brian Anderson
Revised by Matthew Meyer