Publication Date


Advisor(s) - Committee Chair

Douglas Smith (Director),Steve Groce, Kate King

Degree Program

Department of Sociology

Degree Type

Master of Arts


This research was completed to deal with many unanswered questions regarding drug use, specifically drug use in areas of rural poverty. Look at any "Faces of Meth" billboard or listen to any corporate-news program and one might assume there is a drug epidemic in rural areas. Without research, this allows the viewer to assume that poverty is the fault of the drug user who happens to live in rural places. This study sought to take a qualitative and ethnographic methodology to "embed" the researcher in this setting to see for himself whether these views were valid or invalid. The questions of functional drug use were at the forefront of the study, as was the possible relationship between drug use and rural poverty. This study transformed into a serious analysis of a network of drug users in the town of Mulch Valley. While standard sociological (and policy issues) concerns are dealt with, this thesis moves beyond such concerns. Theoretical concerns are brought into questions as new concepts, such as: cultural narrative of addiction, master sociality, slave sociality, and Derridity." "Crushing. Cheating. Changing. Am I deaf or dead? Is this constricting construction or just streets with rusty signs of something violent coming?" (Manson, 2012)


Criminology | Rural Sociology | Social Control, Law, Crime, and Deviance | Social Psychology and Interaction