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Jakob Johan Demant

Jakob Johan Demant


My research field is on the social contexts of alcohol and drug use, and is situated within the perspectives of youth research, criminology, space and urban studies, and cultural sociology. It involves studies on youth culture, specific drug markets including darkweb/cryptomarkets, student population drug and alcohol use, night time economy regulation and use as well as studies in prevention. I am part of the Culture and Civil Society researcher group (and coordinates this group with bente Halkier).

Primære forskningsområder

My research on young adults’ alcohol and drug use is based on a non-pathologic perspective founded within British cultural studies and post-subcultural studies. My main finding is that between teenagers, drinking alcohol becomes a symbolic marker of age and gender. And as such, drinking (and intoxication) becomes a way to include oneself in a mainstream cultural position. Within this frame of everyday sociology, the practice of alcohol use can be understood as an active and creative process equally to being involved in more spectacular subcultures.

Traditionally, alcohol and drug research has had a focus on deviance. However, within my research I have been part of developing perspectives that theorizes alcohol and drug use as “normalized behavior”, “controlled loss of control”, or “calculated hedonism”. Further, my research argue that the dynamics of drug use are related to a wide framework of prevention, taxation, policy of control, public discourses, and the culture of hedonism.  As such, my frame of thinking can be situated within a cultural criminology perspective, and more precisely within leisure studies. In this context, I am interested in developing two lines of research. On the one hand, pleasure and risk, and on the other hand social night life spaces. Furthermore I have taken part in the public debate on drug and alcohol within the mass media, as well as the studies on especially alcohol has become very central in the development of new perspectives to prevention on national and local platforms.

Aktuel forskning

CRYPTOMARKETS FOR ILLICIT DRUGS. Silk Road operated as a the first well known black market, or “cryptomarket”, primarily for drugs, on what is popularly known as the “darkweb” or “darknet”. At the time of writing, more than 35 marketplaces exist. The project have an interest in understanding the scope of the markets researched in terms of available items, by using user reviews as a proxy for sales to examine the demand in the cryptomarkets. Is buyers in the markets as wholesale, lowlevel dealers or end users? But further we have an interest in how the cryptomarkets transforms crimes both online and offline. Users describe the market as a low risk market. This raises questions of how the markets push to existing offline markets and if the availability of drugs outside the offline markets produces a larger range of safety measures for the end users of the drugs (an harm reduction perspective that is often claimed). An important threat against the functioning of cryptomarkets is the fraud and violence users apply against each other. These offenses appear to be extensions of common crimes into the digital world as there are both rip-offs and robberies. From medio 2016 we will adress the local (national) impact if the markets based on funding from The Ministry of Justice. The project consists of Dr. Demant and MsC Rasmus Andersen as well as a number of associated researcher.

Youth Profile Survey. Ungeprofilundersøgelsen (Partner).General survey covering youth from age 12 to 25 on topics on crime, health and drug and alcohol use. 38 municipalities across Denmark participates and have given 48.403 answers on the first round in 2015. The survey is presented as an instrument for the municipalities in their prevention effort. (2014-)

THE SOCIETAL MEANINGS OF THE INTOXICATED BODY: A QUALITATIVE SOCIOLOGICAL STUDY OF ALCOHOL INTOXICATION, GENDER, AND YOUNG ADULTS. FSE Grant research: (PI: Geoffrey Hunt, AU and Vibeke Asmussen Frank, AU). Existing research indicates that gender patterns in alcohol consumption may be converging, especially in Denmark where drinking is almost omnipresent and positively related to social events. Given this situation, it becomes important to explore the ways in which a balance can be maintained between the pleasurable and social effects of alcohol with increasing contemporary concerns about heavy alcohol consumption and intoxicated behaviors. Using a qualitative, sociological approach, this proposed project aims to explore gender and intoxication as a prism through which to explore the pleasure/risk/harm nexus of alcohol intoxication. Studies on the alcohol-intoxicated body can provide insights both into gendered consumption of alcohol and the more general paradoxical meanings of the body that fluctuate between notions of controlled consumption and uncontrolled transgressive pleasures.

Young adults, drugs and alcohol – a 10-year longitudinal study (YODA II). Project team: Professor Margaretha Järvinen (PI), professor Peter Gundelach, senior researcher Jeanette Østergaard, researcher Stefan B. Andrade, associate professor Jakob Demant and researcher Signe Ravn. The aim of this longitudinal study is to analyse the development in drinking and illegal drug use from adolescence to young adulthood. The project is a longitudinal study, encompassing both survey and register data. The survey is a continuation of a questionnaire sent to a representative sample of 2.000 15-16-year olds in 2005 and to the same youths when they were 18-19 in 2008. The project is funded by the Rockwool foundation.


Udvalgte publikationer

  1. Youth Drinking in Public Places: The Production of Drinking Spaces in and Outside Nightlife Areas

    Demant, J. J. & Landolt, S. jan. 2014 I : Urban Studies. 51, 1, s. 170-184 15 s.

    Publikation: Forskning - fagfællebedømtTidsskriftartikel

  2. Udgivet

    Constructing maturity through alcohol experience - Focus group interviews with teenagers

    Demant, J. J. & Järvinen, M. dec. 2006 I : Addiction Research and Theory. 14, 6, s. 589-602

    Publikation: Forskning - fagfællebedømtTidsskriftartikel

ID: 923803