Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
HV5810 .B68 2003 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area

On Order



Philippe Bourgois's ethnographic study of social marginalization in inner-city America, won critical acclaim when it was first published in 1995. For the first time, an anthropologist had managed to gain the trust and long-term friendship of street-level drug dealers in one of the roughest ghetto neighborhoods--East Harlem. This new edition adds a prologue describing the major dynamics that have altered life on the streets of East Harlem in the seven years since the first edition. In a new epilogue Bourgois brings up to date the stories of the people--Primo, Caesat, Luis, Tony, Candy--who readers come to know in this remarkable window onto the world of the inner city drug trade. Philippe Bourgois is Professor and Chair of the Department of Anthropology, History and Social Medicine at the University of California, San Francisco. He has conducted fieldwork in Central America on ethnicity and social unrest and is the author of Ethnicity at Work: Divided Labor on a Central American Banana Plantation (Johns Hopkins University Press, 1989). He is writing a book on homeless heroin addicts in San Francisco. 1/e hb ISBN (1996) 0-521-43518-8 1/e pb ISBN (1996) 0-521-57460-9

Reviews 2

Publisher's Weekly Review

Anthropologist Bourgois chose "addicts, thieves, and [drug] dealers to be [his] best friends and acquaintances" during his three-and-one-half-year research residency in New York City's Spanish Harlem. This experience-packed account of social interactions and relations is the result of great amounts of time spent on the street, in crackhouses, and in the homes of East Harlem's residents, who are caught up in a constant struggle against personal powerlessness. A "wealth" of available drugs fosters major substance abuse that overlays and exacerbates the failure of individuals to overcome poverty and unsupportive if not outwardly antagonistic and racist power structures. Bourgois is not sanguine about the implementation of possible solutions to the not atypical plight of El Barrio's poverty-stricken (nonestablishment) people, who are too often self- or other-destructive in their often futile search for integrity. This look at a major inner-city problem is highly recommended for academic and larger public library social science collections.‘Susanne W. Wood, SUNY Coll. of Technology, Alfred (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Choice Review

Bourgois spent nearly four years in an East Harlem neighborhood, where he gained the confidence of street-level drug dealers. His book is a vivid chronicle of crack-house society and barrio street culture. Bourgois offers sensitive insights into the lives of his subjects without sanitizing their brutality and violence. Dealers--largely offspring of Puerto Rican immigrants--recount dispiriting experiences of discrimination and dead-end, poorly paid jobs in the legal job market. Even as the drug dealers and street criminals are shown in these pages to be caught in a downward spiral of crime, violence, and poverty, they are also depicted, and depict themselves, as followers of an "American dream" of upward mobility--rugged individuals pursuing careers and fortunes as private entrepreneurs. This book does three things well: it presents a superbly written ethnography; makes a sound theoretical contribution to the study of the relationship between social-structural constraints and individual behavior; and advances cogent public policy recommendations, not simplistic solutions, for confronting inner-city poverty and substance abuse. Upper-division undergraduates and above. E. Wellin; University of Wisconsin--Milwaukee

Table of Contents

Preface to the 2001 second edition
1 Violating a Partheid in the United States
2 A street history of El Barrio
3 Crackhouse management: addiction, discipline, and dignity
4 'Goin' legit': disrespect and resistance at work
5 School days: learning to be a better criminal
6 Redrawing the gender line on the street
7 Families and children in pain
8 Vulnerable fathers
9 Conclusion;
Epilogue 2001