Virtual interaction – blogs as potential instruments for prevention and spaces for research
ESSD Conference – “24th annual conference of European Society for Social Drug Research”
Virtual interaction – blogs as potential instruments for prevention and spaces for research”, is an ongoing research project aiming to analyze a number of blogs whose contents concern drugs, as spaces of virtual interaction. On the one hand this analysis aims at identifying elements that can be mobilized in actions for the prevention of psychoactive substance (ab)use, and on the other, to reflect on the research potentials and limitations of this type of empirical support. In current network societies the traditional sequence of access to information and knowledge is under transformation due to continuous and lifelong learning, free circulation of generic and specialized knowledge, among other influences. As these transformations are largely generated by network media, we should underline that the concern and responsibility for individuals’ education is not in their origin. On the contrary, the conception and evolution of network media assumes as a basic presupposition that audiences are educated, which has led to an increasing tendency to make citizens responsible for the selection of the information they receive. Our research is situated in this context, and develops around three main axes, which are autonomous but intertwined: - the characteristics presented by blogs on drugs as spaces of interaction requiring the mobilization of specific competences; - the design of projects directed at the prevention of psychoactive drug use, which are adequate and effective towards new demands; - systematic contributions to the mobilization of methodological approaches adequate to emerging phenomena. In order to achieve these three axes, we will focus our analysis on three blogs, developed from tree European countries – Portugal (Salvaianos – Mundo Smart), United Kingdom (Recreational Drugs Blog), and Spain (Información y Orientación sobre Drogas). The qualitative content analysis of these blogs will allow us to unveil and discuss the proposed dimensions. Although the selection of the blogs has been guided by non-probabilistic criteria, we were careful to include blogs of diverse origins and orientations, from which contributions to the framing of the analysis in a European dimension might arise. The present research project relies on the conviction that it is impossible to act, to develop prevention, risk reduction or damage minimization actions without knowing all the interaction scenarios by which individuals circulate in everyday life – whether real or virtual.
Virtual interaction, blogs, prevention, e-research