Study-Unit Description

Study-Unit Description


TITLE Social Policy and Social Contexts of Addiction

LEVEL 05 - Postgraduate Modular Diploma or Degree Course


DEPARTMENT Faculty for Social Wellbeing

DESCRIPTION This study-unit will explore the social, historical, economic and cultural contingencies influencing the manifestation and experience of addictive behaviour in society, as well as the related developments in social policy in the area. The study-unit will commence with tracing the social and historical development of the construct of addiction. It will then engage with social psychological perspectives of addiction and explore the influence of a number of social contexts on the development of the addictive career, i.e, the family, the peer group, community variables, historical and cultural considerations. The issue of gender will be given specific attention. The study-unit will also explore how these social factors inform policy development in the area and will explore policy development and the policy cycle.

Study-unit Aims:

The study-unit aims to give course participants a thorough understanding of the social, historical, cultural and economic considerations in understanding addictive behaviour. It will draw on social psychological theoretical frameworks of addiction to do this. The study-unit also aims to draw on such an understanding to highlight the implications for policy development. The study unit aims to inform the course participants on the impact of the family, the peer group and the more immediate and distant social contexts as well as social norms on intoxication. The unit aims to assist students to understand how policy development seeks to address such issues. It will examine policy development in terms of evidence-based practice and prevention including harm reduction efforts and apply such policy developments to substance use, alcohol and gambling.

Learning Outcomes:

1. Knowledge & Understanding
By the end of the study-unit the student will be able to:

- critically engage with addiction as a social construct;
- identify the risk and protective factors in family settings;
- identify the risk and protective factors in social settings;
- discuss how policy is impacted by evidence;
- critically engage with the policy cycle;
- be cognisant of the importance of gender mainstreaming in policy development.

2. Skills
By the end of the study-unit the student will be able to:

- apply the implications of understanding addiction as a social construct to policy development;
- engage in gender mainstreaming in policy development.

Main Text/s and any supplementary readings:

Essential texts

Peele, S. (1998). The Meaning of Addiction. Mass: Lexington Books.
Orford, J. (2002). Excessive Appetites. Sussex: Wiley Enlarge.
Herring, J., Regan, C. Weinberg, D and Withington, P. (2012). Intoxication and Society: Problematic Pleasures of Drugs and Alcohol. Oxford:Red Globe Press.

ADDITIONAL NOTES Pre-Requisite Study-unit: MNH5013

Co-Requisite Study-unit: PSC5102


Assessment Component/s Assessment Due Resit Availability Weighting
Assignment SEM2 Yes 50%
Analysis Task SEM2 Yes 50%

LECTURER/S Sharon Arpa
Albert Bell
Olga Bogolyubova (Co-ord.)
Carl Camilleri
Claire Casha
Marilyn Clark
Manwel Gellel
Anna Grech
Richard Muscat
Pamela Portelli
Yanica Sant
Melchior Vella

The University makes every effort to ensure that the published Courses Plans, Programmes of Study and Study-Unit information are complete and up-to-date at the time of publication. The University reserves the right to make changes in case errors are detected after publication.
The availability of optional units may be subject to timetabling constraints.
Units not attracting a sufficient number of registrations may be withdrawn without notice.
It should be noted that all the information in the description above applies to study-units available during the academic year 2021/2. It may be subject to change in subsequent years.