Abstract: The use of medicines, dietary supplements, and natural products to enhance physical, intellectual, and social performance – referred here as performance consumptions – is growing in current societies. It is a complex phenomenon that reflects a change in the conventional use of therapeutic resources, expanding it beyond the realm of health and sickness. This project aims to grasp this modern phenomenon by analyzing performance consumptions within the contexts that spur them. Hence, the focus of analysis – which has commonly been on individual consumption practices - will be redirected towards the social contextuality that structures individuals’ daily lives. The literacy and the sources of information mobilized in these different types of consumption complement the central focus of the research. The project focuses on three professional groups associated with work contexts of high pressure for performance.The study will be conducted in the urban areas of Lisbon and Oporto. Data collection will follow a mixed methods approach: focus groups, surveys and semi-structured interviews. Additionally, the indicators regarding medication literacy patterns and information sources, will be replicated to a sample of consumers of performance products, in pharmacies and food supplements stores. It is understood that the results of this research answer to different imperatives: (i) they contribute to the sociological deepening of an emerging phenomenon, on which empirical studies are scarce; (ii) they make available a set of relevant indicators in support of labor policies to improve the social work environment (iii) they operationalize medication literacy from a multidisciplinary perspective, broadening the scientific perception on the subject and the conditions for citizenship in this area.
Scientific area: Sociology