Drugs, Politics, and Culture OpenCourseWare: A Free Undergraduate Social Science Course Exploring the Societal Impacts of Drugs by MIT

Published Feb 05, 2009

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The 'Drugs, Politics and Culture' OpenCourseWare examines the role of mind-altering chemicals in modern society. This course, offered for free online by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, may be particularly useful for undergraduate students studying Anthropology or sociology.

Drugs, Politics and Culture: Course Specifics

Degree Level Free Audio Video Downloads
Undergraduate Yes No No Yes

Lectures/Notes Study Materials Tests/Quizzes
Yes Yes Yes

Drugs, Politics and Culture: Course Description

An interdisciplinary offering from MIT's Anthropology department and Science, Technology and Society department, this course explores the affects of drugs on cultural processes. Guided by online lecture notes, OpenCourseWare students consider drugs as they relate to poverty, capitalism, colonialism and religion, among other topics. Students study the effects of substances such as cocaine, ecstasy and LSD on the human body and mind. Later in the course, students further investigate the intense psychological effects of LSD, which were of interest to the Central Intelligence Agency as a method of mind-control. The course also takes a closer look at cocaine in Latin America, from the coca leaves used in religious ceremonies to the addictive powder that transformed the economy of Colombia and other countries. 'Drugs, Politics and Culture' examines drug use in contemporary American society by analyzing the use of alcohol and popular prescription drugs such as Prozac and Viagra; the course also reviews current U.S. drug enforcement laws. Professor Hugh Gusterson taught this lecture course on the MIT campus.

This OpenCourseWare consists of lecture notes, former students' papers, a reading list, essay questions and quizzes. To access this free online class, visit the drugs, politics and culture course page.

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