The Sociology Department is happy to announce that Jason Contino is the 2021 Winner of the Mildred Priest Frank Award recognizing outstanding scholarship and service among graduating senior sociology majors. Jason’s thesis is titled, “Ontological (Narco)Politicking: How Addiction Treatment Professionals Constitute the Drug User Through Discourse.” Based on a set of seventeen in-depth interviews in the New York City area, Jason analyzes how addiction treatment professionals co-opt and appropriate aspects of different models of addiction (biomedical, psychosocial, or socio-structural) to render the addicted subjectivity as heterogeneous, chimeric, and adjustable. This paper elucidates the ways in which this heterogeneity is produced and calls into question the very existence of the notion of “addiction.” In deconstructing addiction by analyzing the discourse of varied addiction treatment professionals, a call for radical harm reduction is made, in which people are not coerced into treatment or surveilled under psychiatric and biomedical paradigms.
Congratulations, Jason! And congratulations also to his thesis advisor, Professor Alka Menon!