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Howard Becker in Hyperspace: Social Learning in an On-Line Drug Community

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Abstract

Analyzing on-line drug communities provides important insights into the connection between computer-mediated communication and drug use in contemporary society. Drawing on social learning theory, we analyze conversations within the on-line community DMT-Nexus. We find that the on-line context affects the social learning process concerning drug use in distinct ways and identify how users gain relevant knowledge and interpretive strategies and acquire credibility. Based on these findings, we propose an expansion of Becker’s social learning model of drug use reflecting the unique constraints and opportunities of on-line contexts including the importance of vivid textual descriptions and modes of communication.

Rosino, M., & Linders, A. (2015). Howard Becker in Hyperspace: Social Learning in an On-Line Drug Community. Deviant Behavior, (ahead-of-print), 1-15. https://dx.doi.org/10.1080/01639625.2014.977114

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