Document Type


Date of Degree

Summer 2012

Degree Name

PhD (Doctor of Philosophy)

Degree In

Health and Sport Studies

First Advisor

Birrell, Susan

First Committee Member

Parratt, Catriona

Second Committee Member

Berry, Venise

Third Committee Member

Polumbaum, Judy

Fourth Committee Member

Trachsel, Mary


This project examines mediated representations of marijuana users in film, advertisement, and sport. Situated within the recent Global Commission on Drugs denouncement of the War on Drugs, the rising medical marijuana movement, and the illegality of marijuana at the federal level in all fifty states, this project examines who gets to be a marijuana user in contemporary America. Using the tools of auto-ethnography, media analysis, genealogy, and narrative analysis this project deconstructs dominant conceptions about productive and unproductive bodies with a particular emphasis on the athletic body. How are we to understand a body that usually connotes exemplary health, and fitness when it uses a substance that is assumed to render the corporeal unproductive. In addition this project also explores how race and masculinity shape these understanding. A critical analysis of the narratives of five athletes- Michael Phelps, Tim Lincecum, Ricky Williams, Josh Howard, and Joakim Noah- provides the basis for deconstructing dominant understandings of the marijuana using body. This project seeks to generate new knowledge about the marijuana using body in order to help sick people obtain a helpful medicine and stop the imprisonment of non-violent drug offenders, who are disproportionately the poor and minorities.


iv, 171 pages


Includes bibliographical references (pages 157-171).


Copyright 2012 Nikolas Dickerson