Synopses & Reviews
America has a long history of drug panics in which countless social problems have been blamed on the devastating effects of some harmful substance. In the last forty years, such panics have often focused on synthetic or designer drugs, like methamphetamine, PCP, Ecstasy, methcathinone, and rave drugs like ketamine, and GHB. Fear of these substances has provided critical justification for the continuing "war on drugs."
Synthetic Panics traces the history of these anti-drug movements, demonstrating that designer chemicals inspire so much fear not because they are uniquely dangerous, but because they bring into focus deeply rooted public concerns about social and cultural upheaval. Jenkins highlights the role of the mass media in spreading anti-drug hysteria and shows how proponents of the war on drugs use synthetic panics to scapegoat society's "others" and exacerbate racial, class, and intergenerational conflict.
This Major Reference series brings together a wide range of key international articles in law and legal theory. Many of these essays are not readily accessible, and their presentation in these volumes will provide a vital new resource for both research and teaching. Each volume is edited by leading international authorities who explain the significance and context of articles in an informative and complete introduction.
About the Author
Philip Jenkins is Distinguished Professor of History and Religious Studies at Pennsylvania State University. He is the author of numerous books including Mystics and Messiahs: Cults and New Religions in America and Synthetic Panics: The Symbolic Politics of Designer Drugs, available from NYU Press.
Table of Contents
Synthetic panics -- Speed kills -- Monsters, the pcp crisis, 1975-1985 -- Suppressing ecstasy: the designer drug crisis -- The menace that went away: the ice age, 1989-90 -- The cat attack, 1993-94 -- Redneck cocaine: the methamphetamine panic of the nineties -- Rave drugs and rape drugs -- 9 The next panic.