Narcofeminism and its multiples: From activism to everyday minoritarian worldbuilding

Dennis, Fay; Pienaar, Kiran and Rosengarten, Marsha. 2023. Narcofeminism and its multiples: From activism to everyday minoritarian worldbuilding. The Sociological Review, 71(4), 723 -740. ISSN 0038-0261 [Article]

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Abstract or Description

Sociology has a long-standing interest in the consumption of licit and illicit drugs, particularly as a feminist concern with scholars highlighting the ways in which drugs are used as regulatory technologies to control the conduct and subjectivities of women and other marginalised groups. This monograph flips the focus from a feminist sociological concern with drugs as a means of confining minoritised peoples, to explore what they can do as a feminist practice. Employing the drug-user activist concept of ‘narcofeminism’, it aims to rethink how drugs are conceived in sociology and chart their role in shaping selves and worlds. This article introduces the guiding philosophy of the narcofeminist movement as articulated in an interview we conducted with founding narcofeminist activists from Eastern Europe and Central Asia. Threaded through the interview are vivid examples of the ingrained and overlapping hostilities that differentially constitute drug consumption practices for women and gender minorities, and the brave acts of resistance they perform in response. In introducing the collection, we foreground a key aim that has guided its development: thinking with the insights of narcofeminism, we have sought to address the complexities of drug use and to hold in focus its potentialities both in terms of its harms and benefits, risks and rewards and, importantly, to reflect on how people navigate these counterposing forces in their situated practices of drug use. We also discuss how the collection advances the sociology of drugs by bridging disciplinary divides and disrupting binary distinctions between licit and illicit drugs, volition and compulsion, pleasure and pain, and discourse and practice, among others. This article provides an overview of the contributions that comprise the monograph, highlighting how they grapple with the ethico-political commitments of narcofeminism to rethink drug consumption as a mode of living, capable of transforming social worlds.

Item Type:


Identification Number (DOI):


drug user activism, feminisms, marginalised groups, minoritarian practices, narcofeminism, sociology of drugs

Departments, Centres and Research Units:

Sociology > Centre for Invention and Social Process (CISP) [2016-]


21 April 2023Accepted
1 August 2023Published Online

Item ID:


Date Deposited:

08 Aug 2023 10:19

Last Modified:

08 Aug 2023 10:24

Peer Reviewed:

Yes, this version has been peer-reviewed.


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