Addiction: A highly successful, essentially contested concept

  • Anita Borch National Institute for Consumer Research (SIFO)
  • Varpu Rantala University of Turku
Keywords: addiction, science

Abstract

Borch, A., & Rantala, V. (2015). Addiction: A highly successful, essentially contested concept. The International Journal Of Alcohol And Drug Research, 4(1), 1-4. doi:http://dx.doi.org/10.7895/ijadr.v4i1.200

Within two or three decades an increasing use of the concept of addiction has been observed in the media, in expert discourses, in popular culture, and in everyday talk. The concept does not only cover traditional substance use but also a growing range of behaviors like gambling, internet use, sex, eating, work, and shopping. One important reason behind the concept’s “use value” lies most likely in the fact that it can be adapted to so many different situations of contemporary life. The concept also integrates everyday talk with medical and scientific discourse (Room, Hellman, & Stenius, this issue; Valverde, 1998). The scientific sector is supposed to produce the most reliable, transparent, objective, and impersonal knowledge (Warshal, 2010), and as such the concept holds the credibility label of being “made by science.”

Author Biographies

Anita Borch, National Institute for Consumer Research (SIFO)

Anita Borch, Ph.D.
National Institute for Consumer Research (SIFO)
Oslo, Norway

Varpu Rantala, University of Turku

Varpu Rantala, Doctoral Student
Media Studies, University of Turku, Finland
Associate Partner in Centre for Research on Addiction, Control and Governance (CEACG), Helsinki, Finland

Published
2015-06-22
How to Cite
Borch, A., & Rantala, V. (2015). Addiction: A highly successful, essentially contested concept. The International Journal of Alcohol and Drug Research, 4(1), 1-4. https://doi.org/10.7895/ijadr.v4i1.200
Section
Introduction to the Special Issue