The Emergence of Deviant Minorities: Social Problems and Social Change

By Robert W. Winslow | Go to book overview
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five
THE DRUG MINORITY

A wealth of public misinformation about drugs and drug use has resulted in stereotyping of drug users. Our social distance scale (Introduction) showed both drug addicts and chronic marijuana users to be low on the Bogardus Social Distance Scale, and that this downgrading tends to be much higher among generally prejudiced people than among nonprejudiced people. If these results are generalizable, this means that drug abusers are the target of much prejudice, and thus a minority group. We also saw that national, racial, and ethnic minorities were accorded a much higher place than they had been in previous studies. Perhaps this means that there has been a transfer of the scapegoat mantle to the new targets of aggression -- the drug subculture, student radicals, homosexuals, and other newly visible deviant minorities.

The two readings contained in this chapter serve principally to point out the fallacies in the numerous stereotypes of the drug user. The first reading is from The LaGuardia Report. This report, pub

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