Russell Westhaver, PhD

Openly gay associate professor at SaintMarysUniversity? in Departments of Sociology and Criminology.

2006 work
Life or Meth? : Gay Men's Health, Crystal Methamphetamine, and the Production of Moral and Medical Truths
An analysis of the emerging health promotion activity around gay men's health and crystal methamphetamine. In North America crystal methamphetamine has recently emerged as a growing concern. Developing health promotion programs, changing activities and policy shifts among law enforcement, and increasing anxiety among community organizations are an index of this change. One "at-risk" community to which attention is directed is that of gay men, with particular concern focusing on the links between crystal methamphetamine, unsafe sex, and escalating rates of HIV seroconversion. We can see this concern in the mobilization of health resources directed at gay men who use crystal methamphetamine, primarily in the form of health promotion and harm reduction education campaigns.
While this mobilization is merited given the highly addictive nature of crystal methamphetamine, this project bears in mind a) the anxieties that gay men's sexual practices produce among the wider population and b) the unanticipated consequences and failures that health promotion efforts can produce. The goal of Life or Meth? is to look beyond health promotion's promise to enlist subjects in the maintenance of their own health and into the unanticipated consequences of what appear to be helpful activities based on value free medical facts.
For those who want to know: I'm currently trying to think through this stuff in light of some of the ideas that have emerged through science and technology studies and actor-network theory.
Worked with RobertAllan on study of male couples living in heterosexual society.

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