Feb 12, Andrew rated it liked it This work is an impressive ethnographic account of the 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 ec This work is an impressive ethnographic account of the 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.
In this review, I will talk about major points of the book, and compare them with what I learn from the lectures and reading. I will also discuss the correlation between the book and global health issues.
This section of Harlem, located in the northeastern of Manhattan, is notorious for having the highest violent crime rate and jobless rate in the entire New York City. The area also faces many other social issues such as teenage pregnancy, AIDS, drug abuse, and homelessness. As stated by Philippe, the main point of this book is not about crack or substance abuse, it is about his first hand experiences with the culture and poverty of East Harlem.
It is about the struggles that people there have to go through in order to survive in an extremely poor area of one of the riches city in the world. In order to write the book, Philippe had to observe and participate in real life events in East Harlem.
He and his wife moved to the East Harlem and lived there for three years. However what he observed was totally the opposite. In fact, most of them were adequately dressed and healthy. He questioned about the hidden resources that helped those people to maintain their basic needs.
What he discovered was an enormous underground economy running in East Harlem. The economy involved around cocaine and crack selling. It was a huge job opportunity for most men in East Harlem and incomes generated from it outcompete every other job opportunities.
In fact, the incomes generated from selling drug were so attractive that the author was surprised that many people still maintained their legal jobs. In order to learn more about the system of the underground economy, Philippe had to be a part of it.
He got to know and become friends with drug dealers, thieves, drug addicts. Those were the ones that granted him easy access to a crack house near his tenement.
|Contributors||It explores the social marginalization of Puerto Ricans living in East Harlem, New York City, USA and was one of the first ethnographies to have an anthropologist establish a trusting friendship with street level crack-dealers. The title of the book is perfectly fitting as it explains the dilemmas felt by the crack dealers as they choose between having legitimate low paying jobs but a lack of respect from the upper classes or illegal fast money jobs with social mobility where they evoke respect in the community usually through violence in which they live.|
|In Search of Respect: Selling Crack in El Barrio - Philippe Bourgois - Google Books||San Francisco Bay Guardian, August 19,|
|Blog Archive||Biography[ edit ] A student of Eric Wolf and influenced by the work of French social theorists Pierre Bourdieu and Michel Foucaulthe is considered an important proponent of neo-Marxist theory and of critical medical anthropology.|
He also went further as getting to know their parents, spouses, children, and friends to learn more about their lives and personal struggles. At the beginning, his white skin and accent gave him difficulties to become part of the community.
The way he talked and acted were so different from the rest of East Harlem residents. The dealers and addicts would avoid him because they thought he was an undercover cop.
The cops would assume that he was an addict and searched him in many different encounters. However, later it was revealed that his white look and accent actually gave him an advantage. His look became his protection against thugs because most of them would think that he was an undercover cop.
It also helped him become close friend with Primo, Caesar, and Ray. Those people helped him in the process of writing the book and they played a key role in it. The characters such as Primo, Caesar, and Ray were the different voice and perspective came through in the work.
He helped the author to understand more about the street culture of East Harlem. He accomplished it by introducing Philippe to people who played important roles in drug business like Ray who was a crack entrepreneur and owned the crack house where Philippe did the research.
He warned Philippe about the danger and consequences of his actions. Primo, in a sense, was used to represent the East Harlem residents who were forced into the drug business because that was the only for them to survive.
The voices of characters such as Benzie and Caesar were used represent the drug addicts working for the drug dealers. The more I went deeper into the book, the more I realized that they were actually victims of the vicious drug cycle. Character like Ray represented the powerful drug dealer who had power and authority in the underground world.
He used fear and violence to run his crack house successfully. I can also see the vulnerable side of him in the book. Every small business he created resulted in failure.
The powerful authority figure he created was used to hide his weakness and his vulnerable side.In Search of Respect, Philippe Bourgois's now-classic, ethnographic study of social marginalization in inner-city America, won critical acclaim after it was first published in and in was awarded the Margaret Mead Award.
Jul 04, · In Search of Respect For my first book/ethnography review of this blog I thought it only fitting to dedicate it to possibly the most moving and best ethnography that I have read so far – “In Search of Respect: Selling Crack In El Barrio” by Philippe Bourgois (who won a .
In Search of Respect: Selling Crack in El Barrio is Bourgois Philippe’s tome on postmodern anthropology. He seeks to analyse how social marginalization in the inner city of America affects the lives of people.
An ethnography of the Puerto Rican drug dealers that he interacts with in Spanish. It looks like you've lost connection to our server.
Please check your internet connection or reload this page. In his second ethnography, In Search of Respect: Selling Crack in El Barrio () Bourgois is concerned with showing the effects of structural inequality and social marginalization in the United States. 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- 5/5(3).