Trainspotting: Drug Addiction and Drug Subculture

1538 words 7 pages

"Over the years, heroin and addiction have provided the subject matter for more than a few noteworthy films." The cult film Trainspotting, based on Irvine Welsh's book of the same title, offers an attractive case study as it represents a wide view of British youth culture by considering a large number of issues such as the critiques of consumerism, Thatcherism, class stratification and gender identities. The film portrays the lifestyle of a group of young drug addicts which places its emphasis on youth culture and links it to the drug subculture, and while also involving female characters in this drug subculture it manages to successfully relate the issues of drugs and gender. Therefore I will attempt to trace the
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Trainspotting evoked a similar magnitude of exaggeration however no apologies could repair the damage already caused as the moral panics had set in. The stereotype had been created and from now on the public would be fearful of the major cities in Britain and hold a specific narrow-minded view of the youth that live there. When analysing the concept of youth subculture and specifically the drug culture, in relation to Trainspotting it is essential to recognise the role played by the socio-economic conditions of the British working-class in the early 1990's. During Margaret Thatcher's three successive terms in the 1980's she had introduced the philosophy of the free-market economy into the British system and had discarded the Welfare State, therefore making the British working-class much more vulnerable against the oppression of market forces and Conservative politics, both dominated by the middle-class. The lack of jobs prompted many youths such as Renton and his friends to embark on a life of heroin, where you did not need to worry about things like bills, family and jobs, but instead just where your next ‘hit' was coming from.
When analysing the gender perspective of Trainspotting, it is interesting to recognise the extent to which the female characters are involved in the drug subculture and what their position is in relation to the male characters. "Women it would seem have achieved the (dubious) equality of consuming as many illegal