Buying unlicensed slimming drugs from the Web: a virtual ethnography

Sugiura, Lisa, Pope, Catherine and Webber, Craig (2012) Buying unlicensed slimming drugs from the Web: a virtual ethnography. At Web Science Conference 2012, Chicago, US, 22 - 24 Jun 2012. 4pp.


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The aim of this study was to describe and understand the purchase of unlicensed slimming drugs via the Web. This paper draws on social theory, specifically theories used within criminology to inform the analysis of Web purchasing of slimming medicines. Virtual ethnographic techniques, including non-participant observation of three Web forums were used, along with interviews with key stakeholders involved in medicines regulation in the UK. This paper presents the findings from a thematic analysis of text obtained from the forums. These indicate that particular aspects of The Web allow a new route to purchasing unlicensed medicine and appear to circumvent some of the threats and sanctions associated with illegal drug purchases. Accessibility is provided to those who previously would not have engaged in such activities. It is suggested that this may constitute a new method of conducting deviant behavior.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Poster)
Related URLs:
Subjects: Q Science > QA Mathematics > QA75 Electronic computers. Computer science
B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
R Medicine > RA Public aspects of medicine > RA0421 Public health. Hygiene. Preventive Medicine
Divisions : Faculty of Health Sciences
Faculty of Physical Sciences and Engineering > Electronics and Computer Science
Faculty of Social and Human Sciences > Social Sciences
ePrint ID: 340989
Accepted Date and Publication Date:
23 June 2012Delivered
Date Deposited: 12 Jul 2012 08:14
Last Modified: 31 Mar 2016 14:31
Further Information:Google Scholar

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