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This powerful anthropological and photographic study plunges the reader into the world of homelessness and drug addiction in the contemporary United States. For over a decade Philippe Bourgois and Jeff Schonberg have been following a social network of two dozen heroin injectors and crack smokers on the streets of San Francisco. The authors accompany them as they scramble day and night for survival through burglary, panhandling, recycling, and day labor. The book documents their interface with the institutions mandated to address the problems of indigent poverty in the United States: welfare, prison, the county hospital, public health drug treatment programs, and emergency housing initiatives. Righteous Dopefiendinterweaves stunning black-and-white photographs with vivid dialogue, detailed field notes, and critical theoretical analysis. It accomplishes this through a gripping chronological narrative that develops a cast of characters around the themes of violence, race relations, sexuality, family trauma, embodied suffering, social inequality, and power relations more broadly. The result is a dispassionate chronicle of survival, loss, caring, and hope rooted in the addicts' determination to hang on for one more day and one more "fix" through a "moral economy of sharing" that precariously balances mutual solidarity and interpersonal betrayal.
List price: $34.95
Copyright year: 2008
Publisher: University of California Press
Publication date: 5/29/2009
Size: 7.25" wide x 9.75" long x 0.75" tall
|Introduction: A Theory of Lumpen Abuse|
|Falling in Love|
|A Community of Addicted Bodies|
|Conclusion: Critically Applied Public Anthropology|
|Notes on the Photographs|