Dissertations and Theses @ UNI


Open Access Thesis


Employees -- Drug testing -- United States, Drug testing -- United States, Drugs and employment -- United States


In this research I contend that the arguments for drug-free workplaces are framed within a narrative of science that lends authenticity to the recurring themes that drug testing promotes the health, safety, and productivity of the American workforce. The sense of authenticity effectively delimits the discourse of drug testing and presents the complexities of drug abuse in binary oppositions that contribute to normalizing the behavior of all individuals, not just those who abuse drugs. I suggest that the process of normalization reproduces the delimitation of discourse and provides justifications for introducing drug testing into areas of society beyond the walls of the workplace.

I conduct a content analysis on the transcripts of the congressional hearings preceding the Drug-Free Workplace Act of 1988 and the Drug-Free Workplace Act of 1998. A Foucauldian perspective is employed to provide an understanding as to how the drug test has gained a position of dominance in American society. By challenging the narrative of science found in the transcripts I offer resistance to the reproduction of the binary oppositions surrounding drug abuse; in essence, a resistance to the power of drug testing.

Year of Submission


Degree Name

Master of Arts


Department of Sociology, Anthropology, and Criminology

First Advisor

B. Keith Crew, Chair


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Date Original


Object Description

1 PDF file (vi, 105 leaves ; 28 cm)



File Format


Included in

Sociology Commons