Ecstasy (MDMA): A rebellion coherent with the system
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Sage Publications LTD
García-Montes, J. M., Pérez-Álvarez, M., Sánchez-Moya, M. Á., Torres, J. A. C., Carreno, D. F., Garcelán, S. P., & Sánchez-Sánchez, L. D. C. (2020). Ecstasy (MDMA): A rebellion coherent with the system. Nordic Studies on Alcohol and Drugs, 1455072520954329. [DOI: 10.1177/1455072520954329]
This study attempts to demonstrate the relevance of the socio-cultural model of drugs in explaining the impressive development of ecstasy in the last 45 years. Method: First the study describes the use of ecstasy by groups which have left their imprint on the substance: university students, gays, yuppies and the “New Age” movement. Then the link between ecstasy and techno music led to the socially integrated “club” phenomenon, and the “rave”, which began as a rupturing, nonconformist phenomenon. Findings: According to this argument, in spite of its clearly counterculture beginnings, the “rave” movement and its most characteristic drug, ecstasy, have gradually become integrated into mainstream culture, somehow reinforcing the functioning of capitalist postmodernity. Our study explains ecstasy’s history in reference to the cultural contradictions of capitalism and the functions that it currently fulfils for young people. Based on this analysis, the implications of the cultural perspective are discussed as a paradigm of research in drug use, stressing notions of subculture, myths and rituals. It also proposes a harmonious articulation of academic and common knowledge as the most appropriate method for their study. Conclusion: A cultural approach to drug use could assist in unblocking a field so in need of conceptual and empirical revision.