Aiming “High” in College: Phenomenological Meanings of Drug Consumption in/as Leisure through the Lens of Existential Authenticity

Iulia Fratila, Liza Berdychevsky

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Young adulthood is characterized by a sense of invincibility while the college leisure environment offers a playground for risk taking and experimentation with self-identity. The purpose of this study was to clarify the essence of drug consumption in/as leisure experience and its links to existential authenticity and self-transformation. Data collection involved 16 in-depth individual interviews with U.S. college students. Transcendental phenomenology was implemented, proceeding through the stages of epoché, phenomenological reduction, imaginative variation, and synthesis. Students experienced intrapersonal authenticity through drugs in/as leisure in the form of altered bodily feelings (e.g., self-display and sensibility) and self-making (e.g., self-expression and reaching self-reappraisals). Students also described interpersonal authenticity through drugs in/as leisure, including transformation of family ties and experiencing communitas. Understanding links between drugs in/as leisure, identity, and authenticity offers insights for the intersections between biomedical and psycho-socio-cultural discourses on drugs and contributes to the development of relevant drug education programs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalLeisure Sciences
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - 2021

Keywords

  • drug education and policy
  • drugs in/as leisure
  • existential authenticity
  • identity
  • phenomenology

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Science (miscellaneous)
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Tourism, Leisure and Hospitality Management

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