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Class, lifestyle and substance use among adolescents: A Bourdieusian perspective

Jan Skrobanek, professor at the Department of sociology, has recently published an article in Cooperation with Verena Kuglstatter from the University of Zurich. The article is published in Young - Nordic Journal of Youth Research.

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substance use

This article analyses relations between cultural and economic capital (as proxies forsocial class), lifestyle in general and substances use of young people in special.

The assumption that social class structures social practices during the youth phase has been a controversial question in youth research ever since the idea of lifestyle was introduced into the debate. However, the state of the art in research still gives little information about whether class-specific attributes such as economic and cultural capital – in the sense of Bourdieu key proxies for class background – have a bearing on lifestyle practices of the young in general and/or on substance use in special. The present study takes this desideratum as its starting point. Thus, we limit ourselves to analysing the relation between cultural and economic capital of the young, their lifestyle, and forms of young people’s substance use in a theory-guided, multivariate, and cross-substance-comparison perspective. To put it briefly, our research indicates that although effects of cultural and economic capital are present, the type of lifestyle is more important for understanding and explaining substance use by young people.