Parkin, S. Habitus and Drug Using Environments: Health, Place and Lived-Experience. Farnham: Ashgate. 2013.

Lucas Richert

Research output: Contribution to specialist publicationBook/Film/Article review


Stephen Parkin's new book, Habitus and Drug Using Environments, furnishes a unique perspective on injecting drug use in the UK. He is concerned with such spaces as ‘public toilets, parking lots, derelict buildings, secluded stairwells, rooftops and doorways’, which are almost always, he contends, ‘hidden in open view’ (p. 1). Now a research fellow in the School of Health and Human Sciences at Huddersfield University, Parkin has contributed to public policy and the field of sociology as a member of the academy and a private consultant for over a decade. In this monograph he blends Bourdieusian theory with extensive qualitative research on injecting drug use to produce a work that challenges and adds to the conception of ‘health-place nexus’ (p. 1) The result is a dense and penetrating book that not only helps to re-conceptualise the drug user as an actor, but also problematises the interaction of drugs, drug-using environments and legal frameworks.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages2
Specialist publicationSociology of Health and Illness
Publication statusPublished - 20 Jan 2015


  • injecting drug use
  • public spaces
  • drug-using environments
  • Bourdieusian theory
  • Pierre Bourdieu
  • corporeality
  • drug policy

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