Drugs, Politics, and Culture's Full Profile
This class examines the relationship between a number of mind-altering substances and cultural processes. We look at the relationship between drugs and such phenomena as poverty, religion, technology, inter-generational conflict, colonialism, and global capitalism. We read about the physiological and psychological effects of these substances -- ranging from alcohol to LSD, cocaine and ecstasy -- and ask why different societies prohibit and sanction different drugs. We examine the use of mind-altering substances in a number of "traditional" societies, and follow the development of a global trade in such substances as sugar, coffee, tea, nicotine, cocaine, and marijuana concurrent with the evolution of global capitalism. We look at the use of LSD as a mind-control substance by the CIA and as a mind-altering substance in the 1960's counter-culture, and we look at the rise of Prozac and Viagra as popular, if controversial, pharmaceutical products in recent years. Finally, we evaluate America's current drug laws.
Feb 01, 2006
to May 25, 2006
Days of the Week:
Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday
- Level of Difficulty: Beginner
- Size: Massive Open Online Course
- Instructor: Prof. Hugh Gusterson
- Cost: Free
- Institution: MIT OCW
About MIT OCW:
MIT OpenCourseWare (OCW) is a web-based publication of virtually all MIT course content. OCW is open and available to the world and is a permanent MIT activity.
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MIT OpenCourseWare (MIT OCW) is an initiative of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) to put all of the educational materials from its undergraduate- and graduate-level courses online, partly free and openly available to anyone, anywhere.