Dimitris Liokaftos

Representations of microdosing psychedelics in mainstream media: a critical analysis

Microdosing psychedelics is the use of sub-perceptive threshold drug doses on a regular basis. Recently, the practice has attracted significant attention in mainstream media, and can be seen as part of a wider psychedelic renaissance. Such media coverage typically presents microdosing as a multi-enhancer. Focussing on a representative sample of print and online pieces dedicated to the phenomenon, I will critically explore recurring core themes, the place of risk, vocabularies used and narratives constructed around the practice and practitioners. Investigating the ways in which different uses of psychedelics are framed within a dominant cultural paradigm, I will trace the expectations and perceptions that such media representations help produce. These can play a significant role in how people think about and engage with the drugs.

Dimitris is a sociologist with research interests in drug use, human enhancement and gender. He is currently associated as a visiting researcher with the MIND European Foundation for Psychedelic Science (Berlin) and has previously been awarded a Marie Skłodowska-Curie Fellowship to investigate drug-free bodybuilding (Department of Public Health, Aarhus University, and Public Health Institute, Liverpool John Moores University).

Alongside a personal interest in mysticism, his scientific curiosity for psychedelics arose from his previous research on human enhancement drugs (A Genealogy of Male Bodybuilding: From classical to freaky, Routledge 2017). In particular, he is interested in how different ways of using psychedelics are framed within different paradigms of human enhancement. Following this approach, he is currently investigating microdosing psychedelics as a case study in the wider phenomenon of human enhancement through drugs.