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Undergraduate Module Descriptor

ANT2086: Addiction

This module descriptor refers to the 2023/4 academic year.

Module Content

Syllabus Plan

Whilst the module’s precise content may vary from year to year, it is envisaged that the syllabus will cover some or all of the following topics:

  1. Models of addiction (neurobiological, psycho-social, social constructionist, ‘myth’)
  2. Comparing cultures: Historical and anthropological perspectives on drug use
  3. Addiction in the media
  4. The social science of drug use I: Cannabis
  5. The social science of drug use II: Opiates/heroin
  6. Alcohol abuse
  7. Smoking
  8. Lifestyle addictions (e.g. sex, gambling, internet use, food, exercise)
  9. Treatment and counselling
  10. Addiction policy and public health (e.g. harm reduction, legalization)
  11. Ethics and methods in addiction research

Example seminar debates

  1. Definitions: Is sex addiction really an ‘addiction’?
  2. Models: Is addiction a matter of ‘choice’ or ‘heredity’?
  3. Media: Does the media have a moral responsibility in how it portrays drug use?
  4. Treatment: Should addicts be given free needles or replacement substances (methadone)?
  5. Policy: Would legalization of illegal drugs cut crime rates?

Learning and Teaching

This table provides an overview of how your hours of study for this module are allocated:

Scheduled Learning and Teaching ActivitiesGuided independent studyPlacement / study abroad

...and this table provides a more detailed breakdown of the hours allocated to various study activities:

CategoryHours of study timeDescription
Scheduled Learning and Teaching4422 x 2 hour weekly lectures/seminars (or 1 hour lecture + 1 hour seminar)
Guided independent study80 40 course readings (2 hours each)
Guided independent study80Reading/research for essay
Guided independent study16Article critique prep
Guided independent study80Reading/revisions for exam

Online Resources

This module has online resources available via ELE (the Exeter Learning Environment).


Journals: Addiction, Addictive Behaviors, Journal of Addiction Medicine (JAMA), Sociology