In this compelling study of the crack business in East Harlem, Philippe Bourgois argues that a cultural struggle for respect has led some residents of 'El Barrio' away from the legal job market, and into a downward spiral of crime and poverty. During his many years living in the neighborhood, Bourgois eventually gained the confianza of enough Barrio residents to present their hopes, plans, and disappointments in their own words. The result is an engaging and often disturbing look at the problems of the inner-city, America's greatest domestic failing.
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In this compelling study of the crack business in East Harlem, Philippe Bourgois argues that a cultural struggle for respect has led some residents of 'El Barrio' away from the legal job market, and into a downward spiral of crime and poverty.From Publishers Weekly:
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
Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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