Learning Limits: College Women, Drugs, and Relationships

By Kimberly M. Williams | Go to book overview

Conclusions and Implications

Women constructed meaning about drugs within the context of their important interpersonal relationships. Whether it be drinking at a bar, tripping on LSD, or smoking marijuana from a bong, these events were most often done with friends or boyfriends. It was not surprising that most of the major themes emerged around relationships--the role of drugs in relationships and the ways various drugs were socially constructed within these relationships. Although relationships with family, friends, and community prior to college were important to these women, and they drew on these relationships to help them construct meaning about various drugs, for my project, I focused on relationships with peers and romantic partners in college. Drawing on their experiences within these relationships, women constructed drugs hierarchically, using traditional discourses of morality, legality, and health/safety.

In this chapter, I describe some of the limitations of the study and make recommendations for future research in light of these limitations; discuss generalizability; and reexamine some of the issues associated with power and my relationships with these women. I also discuss some of the implications of the themes described in the previous chapters as well as some recommendations for drug education and prevention.


LIMITATIONS, CONCERNS, GENERALIZABILITY, AND POWER RELATIONSHIPS

Concerns may be raised about the generalizability of this study, but it is important to mention that the goal was to tell how these women constructed meaning about the role of drugs in their lives (specifically within their relationships) at college. Understanding the everyday drug experiences of the women involved in this study, analyzing the words these women used to construct meaning of the role of drugs in their relationships, and analyzing how drugs affected these women's relationships in college were the major goals of

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