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In Search of Respect.

Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
Have any of you read a book called 'In Search of Respect: Selling Crack in EL barrio'? It's a very interesting read about the lives of crack cocaine dealers and their families in the East side of New York, and the author lived in the neighbourhood for 3 years to get to know his informants. It shows a 'human' side of the american drugs culture, a portrayal of which I think is missing in Britain. I've been meaning to post a topic about it for ages, and just wanted to get people's thoughts on it.

Comments

  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    a portrayal of which I think is missing in Britain

    i dont think thats entirely justified, but the material does look interesting...
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Well, given the stuff I have read is totally lacking in depth, I would agree with your statement that it might be unjustified, but I would argue that the same level of community interaction the writer engaged in with his informants far outstrips any projects carried out in Britain.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    that you've read...
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Well, point out other books written from an ethnographic academic perspective on the British drugs situation and I might review my position, rather than being all covert about it.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    trainspotting, contextualised yes, but stil valid.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    trainspotting, contextualised yes, but stil valid.

    trainspotting, while a good book is nothing more than a fiction novel with a hint of reality...the ideas behind the book are less about drugs and more relationships

    for a good book on drugs, try reading The Junk Yard by Marsha Hunt, it's about heroin addicts in dublin from their views, she just edited it, it's not actually uk but close enough to home, quite evocative and emotive so if you get the chance, read it....
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    trainspotting, while a good book is nothing more than a fiction novel with a hint of reality

    actually i think you'll find thats not quite so...Irvine Welsh wrote this based upon personal experience and those immediately around him.

    Its fictionally contextualised but it is worth remembering that all ethnographic research in its construction and purvation of messages is always subjective ...
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    actually i think you'll find thats not quite so...Irvine Welsh wrote this based upon personal experience and those immediately around him.

    Its fictionally contextualised but it is worth remembering that all ethnographic research in its construction and purvation of messages is always subjective ...

    true but i find it to be more of a story with drugs in it than a message about drugs if you get what i'm at...
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    true but i find it to be more of a story with drugs in it than a message about drugs if you get what i'm at...

    i do but any story involving drug users is inevitably going to incorporate human experience, thats the point. Drug users are human beings with individual experiences.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    wait till i finnish my book!
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    wait till i finnish my book!

    i genuinely cant wait :D :yes:
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    i genuinely cant wait :D :yes:
    great ...thats at least six buyers so far then!
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    bud-duh-jah-what? pay?
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    actually i think you'll find thats not quite so...Irvine Welsh wrote this based upon personal experience and those immediately around him.

    Its fictionally contextualised but it is worth remembering that all ethnographic research in its construction and purvation of messages is always subjective ...

    To an extent, but then, isn't all research subjective to a degree? Is there such a things as a 'true truth'? (Beyond scientific facts?) Trainspotting is exactly what I thought you would say, and while motivated by real life experiences, it is in no way a 'true' story. In search of respect is a 'real' story, a lot more so than trainspotting. What I'm getting at is Bourgois looks at not just the bad 'drug' culture of America, but notions of masculinity, femininity, childhood, employment, homelife, and not just how these are affected by drugs, something which I feel British researchers have avoided, almost like avoiding 'humanising' drug dealers and users. I will try and have a look at the Dublin one Turlough, cheers for that.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    wait till i finnish my book!

    Howard Marks.....he's welsh too...
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    What I'm getting at is Bourgois looks at not just the bad 'drug' culture of America, but notions of masculinity, femininity, childhood, employment, homelife, and not just how these are affected by drugs, something which I feel British researchers have avoided, almost like avoiding 'humanising' drug dealers and users

    Well i was actually engaging with the representation idea more than anything else, in respect to Trainspotting. It may seen like an obvious one but it was a very unique exploration of the human condition, given that it wasnt a purely academic publication.

    You've got me thinking actually now. im currently @ Uni of Brum, which is very big on ethnographic research and basically invented cultural studies, theres surely to be something of interest to be found here. I'll try and look something up for you.

    I was talking to a senior lecturer in addiction psychiatry (who also works with addicts in Brum), a really interesting and helpful bloke wh gave me his card and asked me to send him some research. If i can and am allowed would you like to see it?
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Glad I've got you thinking :D The main reason I was looking at the book was from an ethographic methodology perspective as opposed to a drug-oriented POV, since he was working and dealing with one of the most difficult sections of society. If the bloke you were talking to is doing ethnograpic fieldwork into drug addiction it would be great to see his research, if only for the methodolgy. Re: the respresentativeness of drug writing, I don't think there is a shortage of stuff written from a fictional POV, but that lacks the reality of what's goign on. Like you said earlier, drug dealers and users are humans, with human experiences and feelings (without romantising it in anyway), but why go down the route of drugs. Bourgois comes to the conclusion it's more complex than simply 'getting money', and I think it's this perspective that's missing in British research: actually understanding drug dealers and addicts. But, I might (and am willing) to be wrong on that.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    judging from your post im assuming you've heard of the double hermeneutic theory, which could definately be seen as being at play here. Whats yoor academic background if you dont mind me asking because you talk the language of research education.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Well, I get the gist of it (having just googled it), but I'm not a sociology student so I have no first hand experience of it. I'm currently doing a masters degree in English Language (specifically Sociolinguistics) into the language of inner-city Glaswegian adolescents, and how (if) it is linked to their social practices in anyway. The work that has been carried out has been very superfical, and I suppose Gidden's theory (linking theory to sociological knowledge) has some application to my own work. Since I'm working with a particularly 'difficult' section of society, Bourgois' work is very relevant.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    ah are we thinking the Garthamlock/Ruchazie type areas.

    lol Gidden...im one of these people whos sceptical of almost all social theory until i can get to grips and apply it...i'd like my BA to have applications and exist somewhere else outside of books.
  • JadedJaded back for more Posts: 2,682
    Well, point out other books written from an ethnographic academic perspective on the British drugs situation and I might review my position, rather than being all covert about it.

    I don't know if you are interested, but Drugscope has an extensive library in their 'good practice and research' and 'information and library services' sections...
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I don't know if you are interested, but Drugscope has an extensive library in their 'good practice and research' and 'information and library services' sections...

    clever little sausage arent you :D thanks for that
  • JadedJaded back for more Posts: 2,682
    Sorry to bring up an old thread, but I thought Martin and KoG may be interested in a book I was reading about today in Druglink (the Drugscope magazine). It is called 'Hooked on Heroin - Drugs and drifters in a globalized world' by Philip Lalander.
    It details a qualitative study of 25 heroin users in Sweden, over a period of time, based on 150 interviews with the users, and is described as 'an enthralling and brave account of a difficult area of social research.' Not British obviously, but I thought it was interesting nonetheless.
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