Understanding drugs as leisure through the (de)differentiation lens and the dialectic of Logos- and Eros-modernity

Iulia Fratila, Liza Berdychevsky

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Recreational drug consumption is often associated with taboos and legal sanctions. However, the processes of drug liberalisation and decriminalisation have shifted societal attitudes and individual consumption patterns and associated meanings. These tendencies are particularly prominent on college campuses. The purpose of this phenomenological study was to examine the U.S. college students’ interpretations of and experiences with recreational drug use and its links to leisure. Data collection included in-depth, face-to-face interviews with 16 college students. Data analysis followed the analytical steps of transcendental phenomenology–i.e. epoché, phenomenological reduction, imaginative variation, and synthesis. The findings present students’ descriptions of drugs’ (predominantly, marijuana/cannabis) roles in their daily lives, leisure, obligations, productivity patterns, and risk and protective factors. Drugs were portrayed as a leisure activity in itself or as leisure enhancers and even enablers. For some, drugs also served as productivity boosters, focus promoters, and mood uplifters. Drug consumption was rationalised and normalised based on contextual factors and risk assessment. The roles of drugs are analysed through (de)differentiation between leisure and work and (de)differentiation between deviant vs. normalised drug views. This dynamic is conceptualised through the dialectic of Logos- and Eros-modernity, while furthering knowledge on drugs in/as leisure and offering insights for drug education.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)513-528
Number of pages16
JournalLeisure Studies
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2021


  • (de)differentiation
  • college leisure culture
  • drug-related protective factors
  • drug-related risks
  • Drugs in/as leisure
  • Logos- and Eros-modernity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Tourism, Leisure and Hospitality Management


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