Cambridge Core – Social and Cultural Anthropology – In Search of Respect – by Philippe Bourgois. Review. Reviewed Work(s): In Search of Respect: Selling Crack in El Barrio by Philippe Bourgois. Review by: David Nugent. Source: American. Bourgois’ ethnographic research of the crack dealers and their families revealed the structural.
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Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read. Want to Read saving…. Want to Read Currently Searchh Read. Refresh and try again. Open Preview See a Problem? Thanks for telling us about the problem. Return to Book Page. In Search of Respect: Philippe Bourgois’s ethnographic study of social marginalization in inner-city America, won critical acclaim when it was first published in 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 m Philippe Bourgois’s ethnographic study of social marginalization in inner-city America, won critical acclaim when it was first published in 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.
He has conducted fieldwork in Central America on ethnicity and social unrest and is the author of Ethnicity at Work: He is writing a book on homeless heroin addicts in San Francisco.
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Lists with This Book. Jan 20, Sarah rated it it was amazing Shelves: An incredible ethnography about life in the Puerto Rican slums in New York. Bourgois has done something very brave in observing and interviewing these people who struggle against prejudice, ignorance, inequality, crime and drug addictions over the period of 4 years, living amoungst them and learning more than perhapes any outsider had before.
Nothing has been held back, and we experience through these people how drugs have ruined lives and the harsh realities of the barrio, including rape and as An incredible ethnography about life in the Puerto Rican slums in New York. Nothing has been held back, and we experience through these people how drugs have ruined lives and the harsh realities of the barrio, including rape and assult. Also revealed is how a philipep user becomes stuck in their ways often due to prejudice against them, trapped and unable to better their situation without external help.
When reading this however, you absolutely must keep an open mind, as with all cultures different from our own, some things may seem normal to them but boudgois to us. It is also best to reserve judgement until you have read the entire thing, as it is searvh to cast off a drug user as a never-do-well, but this really becomes heart bh and gives you a new perspective for how hard these people have it.
I could go on, but it is actually very hard for me to pin down this book in a review, but I certainly recommend this book to people who are interested in the truth. This ethnography may be even more important now, as anthropologists are no longer allowed to work in such dangerous situations, making this a one of a kind work. Jan 24, Judah rated it it was amazing Shelves: In other words, the factory jobs that Puerto Rican immigrants relied on for maintaining traditional family structures and reinforcing patriarchal cultural norms were shipped overseas, thus catalyzing the rise of an underground street economy that not only paid its workers better than entry level minimum wage jobs but also validated new generations of Puerto Rican men by allowing them to develop an alternative mode for fulfilling their culture’s phillippe gender roles.
The men profiled in this ethnography are unlikable anti-heroes cocaine sniffing, gang-raping deadbeats, for the most partbut many of their flaws seem to be the product of their social conditioning, the result of larger structural violence that only allows its victims to perform gender and cultural roles in the most superficial and self-destructive ways.
Feb 12, Andrew rated it liked it. This work is an impressive ethnographic account of the East Harlem kf in the 80s. Bourgois’s central argument is that cycles of poverty in the United States exist and persist because of huge structural inequities. He very clearly portrays real life examples of how incentives for criminal activities and disincentives to join the legal ec This bourvois is an impressive ethnographic account of philipps East Harlem community in the 80s.
He very clearly portrays real life examples of how incentives for criminal activities and disincentives to join the legal economy reinforce these cycles of poverty, destruction, and despair. As these inequities persist, future generations that grow up in this environment of limited opportunities propogate this trap. The title is very informative. To Bourgois, everyone seeks respect. And when presented with the choice of having money to feed the family and pay the rent through illicit sources versus working a dead-end job that garners no respect or prospects of upward mobility, the choice to make is very clear.
Bourgois rails against solutions that superficially takes on the problems in El Barrio. For example, he is critical on the War on drugs argues that the drug epidemic is not THE problem itself, but instead a symptom of the deeper problem.
Bourgois likewise argues that the call for more paternal responsibility interestingly, as Obama and Bill Cosby have done is shortsighted, because in fact many families are better off without if abusive, drug-dealing father around. As a believer that on the whole, people don’t fail, societies around them fail, Bourgois just reinforces my beliefs, but I wonder if this book is a Rorscharch Test of sorts. I wonder if conservatives read this book, they will focus on the individual failures and lack of personal responsibility.
Philippe Bourgois – Wikipedia
All in all, it’s a solid book that won’t provide too many new ideas to those with liberal views, but would be a nice fresh perspective to those with more conservative stances. Mar 31, Pete rated it it was ok Shelves: I read a Roger Ebert film review once that noted how difficult it is to create a truly antiwar film, because war is so inherently dramatic that, without the actual danger, it inevitably appears adventurous.
Likewise, it is extremely difficult for a writer to elicit sympathy for human cockroaches, because their existence is so inherently worthless. These people contribute absolutely nothing of positive value to our world, while constantly detracting from its goodness and I hate them. View all 4 comments. Dec 12, Kert Tandog rated it it was amazing Shelves: Bourgois writes a powerful ethnography about people entwined with substance abuse in East Harlem.
He writes an empathetic, at the same time critical, view of self-destructiveness and violence normalised in the daily lives of Puerto Ricans in New York. It provides a detailed account of the different forces enmeshed with and directed real lives of real people – giving a human face behind those considered a pathological, exoticised ‘statistic’.
Apart from having a highly nuanced theorising, this is Bourgois writes a powerful ethnography about people entwined with substance abuse in East Harlem. Apart from having a highly nuanced theorising, this is perhaps one of the books that elicited so much emotions in me – a testament to the good writing that Bourgois had rendered his ethnography. I really have nothing to fault it with. Dec 15, Garxin rated it really liked it. In Search of Respect describes the social structure of the drug business.
Throughout the book, Phillip Bourgois interviews drug dealers in East Harlem. They mention the struggles they go to in order to survive. I learned that prejudice and racism played an important role in the characters’ lives in that it was almost like a predetermining factor. Because the main characters, Caesar and Primo, were Spanish it was difficult for them hpilippe find jobs so they turned to the drug business. Bourgois mentio In Searcch of Respect describes the social structure of the drug business.
In search of respect: an interview with Philippe Bourgois
Bourgois mentions a great deal about social issues including poverty, drugs, sex and racism. Philippe Bourgois’ ethnography in the heart of El Barrio East Harlem brings some of the most shocking and revealing facts about culture shock. Befriending crack and heroin using Puerto Ricans that roam the streets and live by the underground economy that pulses in El Barrio, Philippe Bourgois shows that there’s so much more than what the eye can see.
By deciding to bring his wife and kid to live in a sector where you cannot take a step forward without cracking vials that once carried a substan Philippe Bourgois’ ethnography in the heart of El Barrio East Harlem brings some of the most shocking and revealing facts about culture shock.
By deciding to bring his wife and kid to live in a sector where you cannot take a step forward without cracking vials that once carried a substance by which many couldn’t live a day without, he was able to learn that policies shouldn’t only be focused on the individual and their problems. He shows that the problem is a lot more grand and that everything is the result of a more societal issue that spans over countless years. Shown through the rooted racism and the dramatic change in economy, Philippe Bourgois manages to bring to light the difficulty to put together street culture with the traditional working-class culture.
While the author spends countless hours in trying to understand the lives of a couple of Puerto Ricans who are well embedded in the drug market, he also manages to make us empathize with these individuals even when we find out about all the horrible things that they end up doing ranging from brutalizing their wives to gang-rapping teenagers. This very book is far from being just an ethnography. It is an account of two different realities that brings individuals to a normalized self-destruction.
While the ethnography isn’t meant to set in stone a macrolevel analysis, it however manages to make us question some the most fundamental values of society.
In Search of Respect: Selling Crack in El Barrio by Philippe Bourgois
Struggling to fit in and live an economically stable life, Puerto Ricans are brought to hunt for something much bigger than just money. They are looking for something to justify their very lifestyles.
They are in search of respect. Sep 23, Selma rated it it was amazing. This was a really good ethnography. I adored it, it was not filled with an excessive amount of jargon, making it inaccessible for the average person.
I also think that it was an extremely interesting topic, and I think that it was incredibly well done of Bourgois giving voice to people who had often not had one. This was done mostly through his application of postmodernism, supplying the reader with transcripts from the interview, allowing us to form our own opinions on the subject and not havin This was a really good ethnography. This was done mostly through his application of postmodernism, supplying the reader with transcripts from the interview, allowing us to form our own opinions on the subject and not having our perception censored by Bourgois’ personal viewpoint.
Furthermore, everything is revealed in these interviews, the good and the bad; thus, successfully humanising a group of people who had often experienced the exact opposite. Bourgois describes the harsh reality of the underground economy in New York El Barriotelling about incidents of violence, threats, and even an episode of group rape as a form of initiation process. Furthermore, Bourgois, also details the injustices his interlocutors have faced, not having the proper capital to enter the legal economy.
This is portrayed beautifully through his use of practice theory, outlining the way in which the government failed them from the time they were young and in school, and were not taught the proper ways to interact with beaurocratic forces and the legal economy, leaving them at a marked disadvantage.
Often reading these accounts of things that the interlocutors had done, which differed so greatly from my own, and Bourgois’ morals, it was hard to remain neutral and keep one’s sympathy for the interlocutors. However, what kept me going was Bourgois’ honesty in addressing his own reaction to these things, and how that for him was hard to hear and put him in a morally ambiguous situation at times.
Overall, this was a great ethnography, and kudos to Bourgois for immersing himself fully in this society despite the warnings he got not to. I think this book warrants 5 out of 5 stars. Dec 27, Rae rated it liked it. As a white, middle-class, college-educated man, Bourgois faces many obstacles to finding “the real story” to share with people who read such books.
While at times I had to put the book down because my stomach and my mind couldn’t be complicit in this seeming misuse of privilege, who am I to determine if someone can or can not consent to such a detailed published account of their liv This book chronicles Bourgois’ public infiltration of the crack dealer social scene in East Harlem, New York City.
While at times I had to put the book down because my stomach and my mind couldn’t be complicit in this seeming misuse of privilege, who am I to determine if someone can or can not consent to such a detailed published account of their lives?