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Issues » 2014/5 - Special English Issue 2014 »

Research Accounts of Female Drug Use and their Implications for Social Work

Magda Frišaufová

Based on a critical review of social science research into female drug use, the author identifies a tendency to lay particular emphasis upon two roles: that of structural constraints or that of individual agencies. This dichotomous perception portrays women drug users as either powerless victims of oppression, or as volitional agents unrestricted by structural limitations. The author explores the implications of such specialised discourse upon social work practice and how it may contribute to further stigmatization and disempowerment of female drug users. Using intersectionalism and broad definitions of agency and social structure, the article suggests a basis for empowering social work practice.

agency, drug use, empowerment, gender, intersectionality

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