Alcoholism and Drug Dependence — A Multidisciplinary Problem: The Sociologist’s Viewpoint

  • David Robinson


Whenever alcoholism or drug-dependence are being discussed it can confidently be expected that someone will call them “multidisciplinary” problems. David Pittman (1967), for example, speaks of: “....a multidisciplinary problem which involves researchers and practitioners from the biological and natural sciences, the psychological sciences and the social sciences”, while Catanzaro (1968) casts his net even wider: “Professionals from a wide variety of disciplines must be involved” he says, “including physicians, social workers, psychiatrists, psychologists, nurses, clergymen, vocational rehabilitation counsellors, lay counsellors, judges, educators, sociologists and many others”. Significantly, perhaps, sociologists come immediately before the unspecified “many others” at the end of Catanzaro’s list. Significantly, because people who write about alcoholism and drug dependence often include sociologists in their list of people who might be “involved” and yet rarely give any indication of what sociologists actually do, or why what they do might be of interest, much less of use.


Drug Dependence American Hospital Association Disease Concept Sociological Work Multidisciplinary Problem 


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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1977

Authors and Affiliations

  • David Robinson
    • 1
  1. 1.Addiction Research Unit, Institute of PsychiatryUniversity of LondonUK

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