An exploratory study of the transition into the drug subculture



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This study has sought to explore and describe those mechanisms operative in the transition from the major American culture to a deviant subsystem described by the mass media as "Hippiedom." Methodological techniques utilized were the case study and participant observation. Inquiry was focused on those factors which tend to catalyze transition as well as on a description of the life style exhibited by self-acknowledged members of the hippie movement. Analyses of the data suggest that several factors predispose the individual toward transition into the deviant life style. Of importance here are alienation and anomie, the drug experience and the accessability and acceptability to ego of role models who are themselves active members of the deviant subculture. The suggestion is also made that the transitional process is an incomplete one with the deviant actor maintaining social relations within both the dominant and deviant systems. Descriptive materials are presented to illustrate the complex of social relations maintained by individuals who have occupied such a marginal position.



Drug use, Subcultures