University of Pittsburgh
March 6, 2008

University of Pittsburgh Presents Asia Over Lunch Lecture March 27

Lecture titled "Dancing on Drugs: Normalization, Culture, and Adolescent Recreational Drug Use in Hong Kong"
Contact:  412-624-4147

PITTSBURGH-Nicole W. T. Cheung, assistant professor of sociology at the Chinese University of Hong Kong, will be at the University of Pittsburgh to discuss the recent upsurge of consumption of "party drugs" among young people in Hong Kong. The lecture, titled "Dancing on Drugs: Normalization, Culture and Adolescent Recreational Drug Use in Hong Kong," will be held at noon March 27 in 4130 Posvar Hall, 230 S. Bouquet St., Oakland. The lecture is part of the Asia Over Lunch lecture series. Pizza will be served; participants are asked to bring their own beverages.

The rising popularity of party drugs, notably ecstasy and ketamine, among young people in Hong Kong has been part of the global trend of adolescent recreational use of drugs at rave parties, discos, and similar party settings, says Cheung. This trend has prompted some scholars in the West to begin speaking of the "normalization" of recreational drug use that arises in the context of the risk society.

Cheung, a sociologist of deviance, examines adolescent drug use in Hong Kong by applying the normalization thesis to the analysis of young drug use in non-Western cultures. Her lecture will highlight the cultural differences between Western and Chinese societies and how they may shape the trend of normalization of adolescent recreational drug use.

The Asia Over Lunch lecture series is sponsored by the Asian Studies Center, which is part of Pitt's University Center for International Studies.