Psychostimulants in the Digital Space: An Insight into Pharmaceuticalisation
Various conceptual frameworks have been called upon, within the social sciences, to explore the non-medical use of psychostimulants; among these, most notably, is pharmaceuticalisation. While this has allowed to position users’ practices within the broader political and economic context, there is a dearth of data pertaining to how psychostimulants contribute to fashioning contemporary subjectivities among young adults, within and beyond the academic setting. Exploring this question further, this communication draws on a netnographic study of psychostimulant-related online communities. Indeed, there is a growing overlap between the “virtual” and “physical” self (Boellstorff, 2012), and individuals are increasingly assembling within the digital space around various ideas and objects, including pharmaceuticals. We argue that the adaptation of ethnographic methods to the online setting (Kozinets, 2010) may bring forth new insights into the socio-cultural dynamics and transformations underlying the use of psychostimulants. This also contributes to shedding additional light on the processes of biosocialisation and pharmaceuticalisation.