LARD01 violence and drugs (a special composite for 2010)
General Issues -- Liberal Dilemmas Reconciling individual freedom and social responsibility Early approach -- Bentham and the pursuit of the greatest happiness for the greatest number Later approach -- JS Mill -- protect minority rights, act on long-term interests Identifying social harm, weighing costs and benefits of legislation
State vs market Violent leisure (and porn and drugs) as free choice, best left to the market to regulate or… A kind of market failure? Exploitation? A result of asymmetric power? Addicts are not rational consumers? Long-term bad or degrading effects as a kind of un- priced public bad, de-merit goods? Can market mechanisms recover these costs?
The regulation of violence What is violence? Good violence? What sort of violence is regulated? (e.g. is making people redundant violence?) Sporting violence. Is sport a special case (Kerr). Does watching violent sport make us violent? Why do people do violence? The pleasures of violence? The need for violence? Social/cultural conditions or personal blame? Contradictions and partial resolutions
What is a drug? Chemical, medical or recreational drugs, legal definitions based on social harm etc. Good drugs and bad drugs, legal drugs and illegal drugs -- consistent divisions? The problems with alcohol. Defining harmful drugs -- Addiction? Health hazards? Social costs? Drugs used by minorities?
Drugs in Sport What is a performance-enhancing drug? What is an illegal performance enhancing drug? Is illegal drug-taking widespread? Should we and can we regulate drug usage?
Policy implications Regulating harmful drugs --protecting the vulnerable or forbidding pleasures? Legal remedies or cultural ones (e.g. informed choice, health and safety) Informing people of the risks in risk society (risks have been individualised and privatised) Principles or practice (Colebatch)? -- knowledge and detection, conviction variables, perimeter policing?
Media effects What are the effects of media – eg on violent behaviour? Why is it so difficult to gain evidence? (Buckingham, Belson, Birmingham Uni) Recent American studies – Anderson & Dill, Vandewater How is media violence regulated in Britain -- indirect regulation and e.g. the BBFC Dominant tastes? Moral panics? (e.g. the James Bulger affair –see Buckingham)