‘You’re with your ten closest mates… and everyone’s kind of in the same boat’: Friendship, Masculinities and Men’s Recreational Use of Illicit Drugs

Clay Darcy

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Darcy, C (2018) ‘You’re with your ten closest mates… and everyone’s kind of in the same boat’: Friendship, Masculinities and Men’s Recreational Use of Illicit Drugs. AMITY: The Journal of Friendship Studies, 5:1, pp. 43-57. doi: 10.5518/AMITY/27

Abstract

Based on empirical sociological research, this article explores how some Irish men’s recreational use of illicit drugs, masculinities and friendship, interconnect. Drawing from in-depth interviews with twenty Irish men who identified as recreational users of illicit drugs, the article examines men’s drug taking within homosocial contexts as a friendship practice. By conceptualising masculinities as relational, socially constructed and fluid, the article examines social aspects of men’s drug taking as part of a pattern of gender practices used to establish, maintain and affirm men’s friendships. The findings of the research demonstrate men’s recreational use of illicit drugs forms part of the social practices of friendship among drug taking men, and men’s understandings of masculinity in turn influence these social practices.

Keywords: Friendship; Masculinities; Men; Drugs; Ireland.

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