Monday, December 6th, at 5:30PM
President’s Conference Room, 17th floor,
Hunter College East Building
Co-authored and with photographs by Jeff Schonberg and published by the University of California Press (Public Anthropology Series), Righteous Dopefiend is a powerful study that immerses the reader in the world of homelessness and drug addiction in the contemporary United States.
For over a decade Philippe Bourgois and Jeff Schonberg followed a social network of two dozen heroin injectors and crack smokers on the streets of San Francisco, accompanying them as they scrambled to generate income through burglary, panhandling, recycling, and day labor.
Righteous Dopefiend interweaves stunning black-and-white photographs with vivid dialogue, detailed field notes, and critical theoretical analysis. Its gripping narrative develops a cast of characters around the themes of violence, race relations, sexuality, family trauma, embodied suffering, social inequality, and power relations.
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.
Philippe Bourgois is the Richard Perry University Professor of Anthropology and Family and Community Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania. His other books include In Search of Respect: Selling Crack in El Barrio (1995) and Ethnicity at Work: Divided Labor on a Central American Banana Plantation (1989), as well as a volume co-edited with Nancy Scheper-Hughes, Violence in War and Peace (2004).
If you do not have a CUNY ID card, go first to the Hunter Visitors’ Center in the West Building lobby (south side of 68th Street, just west of Lexington Avenue).