Date of Award
Master of Arts (MA)
Communication, Technology, and Society
Dr. James Gilmore
Dr. Jordan Morehouse
Dr. Kristen Okamoto
Psychedelics drugs are slowly gaining recognition for their potential medicinal value in therapeutic settings in Western science. However, there remains a great deal of hostility and hesitancy toward psychedelics, largely due to the psychedelics’ collective classification as Schedule I drugs in America, which resulted from a history of the drug class’ demonization. Nonetheless, several US states and cities having decriminalized psychedelic drugs in certain contexts, but the general population is relatively naïve to the potentialities psychedelics can offer. This thesis studies trip reports, which are firsthand accounts of individual psychedelic experiences, on Reddit to shed light on the different knowledges about psychedelics. Implementing a mixture of Brock’s (2012; 2018) Critical Technocultural Discourse Analysis and a Foucauldian Discourse Analysis, this study takes a qualitative approach in analyzing trip reports to delve into the richness of the individual experience because psychedelics induce highly abstracted and unique sensations. In the findings, psychedelics are demonstrated to facilitate a myriad of self-revelatory effects, extraordinary perceptions of reality, and combinations of the two. Collectively, the trip reports serve as a challenge to mainstream views on psychedelics and offer detailed, highly individualized looks into the psychedelic experience and the knowledge surrounding it.
Nutt, Kevin Lawson, "Perspective and Perception: How Reddit Trip Reports Convey and Offer Different Knowledges About Psychedelic Drugs" (2023). All Theses. 4051.