Lynne Rienner Publishers Logo

The High Life: Club Kids, Harm and Drug Policy

Dina Perrone
The High Life: Club Kids, Harm and Drug Policy
ISBN: 978-1-881798-46-0
2009/247 pages
Qualitative Studies in Crime and Justice, Volume 2
A CriminalJusticePress Project

A related title:  Dorm Room Dealers: Drugs and the Privileges of Race and Class by A. Rafik Mohamed and Eric D. Frtitsvold
"Perrone's use of theory and its integration throughout her subsequent analysis and cogent interpretation offers critical criminology a new vista: an opportunity to empirically assess the impact of certain social, economic, political, and legal dynamics across a population typically ignored by most criminologists."—Wilson R. Palacios, Critical Criminology

"Challenges many of the assumptions about drug users, and will benefit both beginners and professionals interested in drug use and users, public policy, and studies of subculture."—Contemporary Sociology

"[Offers] fascinating insight into club kids’ lives and how regular drug users are able to occupy conventional social roles and sustain typical social relationships.... Perrone provides a thought-provoking discussion that challenges the majority of literature on drug use."—Lucy Gibson, Dancecult: Journal of Electronic Dance Music

"It is beautifully written, the topic sensitively approached, and the theoretical approach sophisticated and wide-ranging.... What we see within this book is a comprehensive account that is nuanced, intimate, and complex and that provides the reader with insights into the role of drugs within the lives of these young people."—Geoffrey D. Hunt, Institute for Scientific Analysis

"A fascinating and timely piece of research.... The innovative and illuminating aspect of this study is the wide-ranging array of theoretical perspectives brought to the material."—Mercer L. Sullivan, Rutgers University


Why do well-educated young professionals engage in frequent and intensive drug use at dance clubs? And how do they protect themselves from drug-related illnesses and involvement with the criminal justice system? Dina Perrone's vivid ethnographic research on New York City "club kids" illuminates their distinctive subculture, describes their patterns of drug use, and explores the factors that protect them from harm.


Dina Perrone is assistant professor of criminology and criminal justice at California State University, Long Beach.