Cultures of addiction: the representations of drug use in 1990s British film

Holden, Gemma (2011) Cultures of addiction: the representations of drug use in 1990s British film. BA dissertation, University of Portsmouth.

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    This dissertation explores how youth subcultures and drug addiction has been portrayed in British film of the 1990s, while taking into account political and historical context. The British film industry is a mass media platform both nationally and internationally, therefore has an obligation to represent social issues such as drug use and addiction in an accurate way. The films discussed in this dissertation were made at a particular moment in British history, which saw great shifts in the political landscape, the main one being the movement from Thatcherism into New Labour and Blairism.

    In order to contextualise fully the background of cultures of addiction, this dissertation looks into; youth drug sub-cultures that were shaped and defined in the 1990s such as rave culture and club cultures. As gender and class have played a part in societies ideas surrounding drug use and addiction, they have helped a contextual basis for this dissertation. This dissertation also looks into the formal conventions used to portray issues of addiction within film, particularly surrealism and British social realism.

    The final conclusion is that the British film although showing very graphic visual representations of drug use and addiction ultimately do so in a responsible way. By showing very accurate depictions both positive and negative, the films give very conscientious representations of cultures of addiction.

    Item Type: Dissertation
    Departments/Research Groups: Faculty of Creative and Cultural Industries > School of Media and Performing Arts
    Depositing User: Jane Polwin
    Date Deposited: 23 Mar 2012 11:27
    Last Modified: 28 Jan 2015 11:58

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