Hold Ctrl-tasten nede. Trykk på + for å forstørre eller - for å forminske.


Social Scientific Addiction Research

This is the study programme for 2019/2020. It is subject to change.

The addiction studies research in social sciences and public health at the University of Stavanger is multidisciplinary, based on the traditions of the social sciences, humanities and the health sciences. This course focuses on the social, cultural and historical prerequisites for substance use, and the welfare state's response. Substance use and addiction are contextualised, and seen in relation to the existing hegemony of knowledge, substance policy, legal regulations, and the availability and use of public services all influence, and are influenced by, each other in a system of dynamic processes and power relations. The aim of substance use and addiction studies in social sciences and public health should be to gain relevant knowledge of both women's and men's ability to promote their own policy needs in relation to the existing legal regulations and public services of the welfare state as seen through both gender - and user perspectives, by uncovering existing power relations and power dynamics. In light of critical realism, addiction is seen in the conjunction between pathological- and social science perspectives.

Learning outcome

The following learning outcomes will be achieved by the PhD candidate on completion of the course:
The PhD candidate:
  • has advanced knowledge about addiction, with a special focus on perspectives from social sciences, public health, culture and history
  • has knowledge of different theories and methods in the field of addiction, and are able to evaluate different theories regarding the use of Substances, addiction and marginalization as a field of research

By the end of the course, the PhD candidate:
  • can analyse and critically evaluate substance use in a societal, cultural and historical perspective
  • can analyse and critically evaluate various standards for substances and substance use and addiction on the basis of scientific theories
  • can use relevant methods of research and professional developmental work in an independent manner to identify and facilitate interventions
  • can implement independent research or development projects under supervision and in accordance with ethical research norms
  • can critically reflect on addiction as a social and cultural phenomenon
  • can analyse relationships between policy, legal regulation, the availability and use of public services aimed at users within the addiction field
  • can develop and implement research projects of high scientific quality within social sciences and multidisciplinary research
  • can organize and present research projects at scientific conferences and conduct discussions in open seminars and colloquia groups

General competence
By the end of the course, the PhD candidate:
  • has qualification to evaluate different theories about the use of substances, addiction and marginalization, as a research field
  • can analyse ethical research issues related to addiction
  • can communicate own research work, others' research and master the terminology of the subject
  • can communicate research-based and professional issues, analyse and conclude about addiction, both within the field of research, within the public service provision and the general public
  • can contribute to innovation
  • can reflect on their own understanding and scientific position


  • Multidisciplinary models used to understand and explain substance use based on humanities, social sciences and health sciences
  • Social, cultural and historical prerequisites for substance use and the response of the welfare state
  • User involvement and user research
  • Service development
  • Addiction and marginalization

Required prerequisite knowledge


Recommended previous knowledge

Master level within medicine, health sciences, societal safety, social science, or similar educations.


Weight Duration Marks Aid
Individual paper1/1 Pass - Fail
Individual paper of 3000 words (+/- 10%) in English on a self-chosen topic approved by the instructor, which departs from the participants' on-going PhD project. However, the paper must take the form of a contribution to the general literature on different aspects of substance use and addiction. The paper must be submitted within five weeks after the end of the course, and will be evaluated as Pass/Fail.

Coursework requirements

  • Prepare a selection of literature of approximately 500 pages relevant for the course paper. This list must be submitted to the course administrator in advance of the course.
  • Prepare a 1 p. (ca.) note on theoretical basis departing from your PhD project, which outlines a research question for the planned topic of the course paper. This list must be sent to the course administrator in advance of the course.
  • Prepare a presentation of this theoretical basis for the first seminar day 2.
  • The selected literature and the one- page note will be presented and debated at Seminar 2. Students may then highlight elaborations and possible alterations as result of seminar discussions.
  • Generally active participation in discussions at the course.

Course teacher(s)

Course teacher
Torgeir Gilje Lid , Kolbjørn Kallesten Brønnick , Trond Erik Grønnestad , Sverre Martin Nesvåg
Course coordinator
Hildegunn Sagvaag

Method of work

The course consists of 2 seminars and self-study. The seminars will include plenary debates and participant presentations. A detailed timetable will be made available at the beginning of the course.

Open to

PhD candidates enrolled in PhD programmes at the University of Stavanger or other accredited universities/university colleges in Norway or abroad. 

Course assessment

The course participants are encouraged to contribute to the course evaluation. An evaluation form will be made available to the candidates after the papers are handed in.


If the course is organized as a supervisor-oriented reading course, the curriculum will be adapted. Compulsory syllabus is a total of 800 pages from the list below and another thematic relevance of scientific literature.
Adams, Peter J. (2008): Fragmented Intimacy. Addiction in a Social World, New York, Springer
Babor, Thomas, Caulkins, Jonathan, Edwards, Griffith, Fischer, Benedikt, Humphreys, Keith, Obot, Isidore, Rehm, Jürgen, Reuter, Peter, Room, Robin, Rossow, Ingeborg (2010): Substance Policy and the Public Good, Oxford : Oxford University Press Pan American Health Organization
Archer, M., Bhaskar, R., Collier, A., Lawson, T., & Norrie, A. (2013). Critical realism: Essential readings: Routledge.
Collier, A. (1994). Critical realism: an introduction to Roy Bhaskar's philosophy.
Fairclough, N. J. O. s. (2005). Peripheral vision: Discourse analysis in organization studies: The case for critical realism. 26(6), 915-939.
Grønnestad, T. E., & Lalander, P. (2015). The Bench: An open drug scene and its people. Nordic Studies on Alcohol and Drug, 32(2), 165-182.
Grønnestad, T. E., & Sagvaag, H. (2016). Stuck in limbo: illicit substance users' experiences with opioid maintenance treatment and the relation to recovery. International Journal of Qualitative Studies on Health and Well-being, 11
Hatland, Aksel (2010): Veivalg i velferdspolitikken, Oslo, Fagbokforlaget
Järvinen, M., R. Room, et al. Youth drinking cultures: European experiences, Aldershot, Ashgate
Kildal, Nanna, Kuhnle, Stein (2005): Normative foundations of the welfare state : the Nordic experience, London, Routledge
Kerr, Ethan J. og Gibson, Owen E.(2009): Substance abuse : new research, New York : Nova Science Publishers
Lalander, Philip (2009): Respekt : gatukultur, ny etnicitet och droger, Malmø : Liber
Larsen, T., & Sagvaag, H. (2018). Empowerment and pathologization: A case study in Norwegian mental health and substance abuse services. Health Expectations (1-10)
Lid, T. G., Nesvåg, S., & Meland, E. J. (2015). When general practitioners talk about alcohol: exploring facilitating and hampering factors for pragmatic case finding. Scandinavian journal of public health 43(2), 153-158.
Nesvåg, S., & Duckert, F. (2017). Work-related drinking and processes of social integration and marginalization in two Norwegian workplaces. Culture and organization, 23(3), 157-176.
Obot, I. S. and R. Room (2005). Alcohol, gender and drinking problems: perspectives from low and middle income countries. Geneva, World Healt Organization
Sandberg, Sveinung, Pedersen, Willy (2009): Street capital. Black cannabis dealers in a white welfare state, Bristol, Policy Press
Selbekk, A. S., Adams, P. J., & Sagvaag, H. J. C. D. P. (2018). "A Problem Like This Is Not Owned by an Individual" Affected Family Members Negotiating Positions in Alcohol and Other Substance Treatment.
Selbekk, A. S., & Sagvaag, H. (2016). Troubled families and individualised solutions: an institutional discourse analysis of alcohol and drug treatment practices involving affected others. Sociology of Health & Illness, 38(7), 1058-1073.
Selbekk, A. S., Sagvaag, H., & Fauske, H. (2015). Addiction, families and treatment: a critical realist search for theories that can improve practice. Addiction Research & Theory, 23(3), 196-204.
Sulkunen, Pekka (2009): The saturated society : governing risk and lifestyles in consumer culture, Los Angeles, Sage
Sweeney, Angela m.fl (2009): This is Survivor Research. PCCS Books, London
West, Robert (2006): Theory of addiction, Addiction Press series, Malden, Mass. : Blackwell
In addition, specific literature related to the different areas of specialization will be included in consultation with the supervisor.

This is the study programme for 2019/2020. It is subject to change.

Sist oppdatert: 03.06.2020