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Dorm Room Dealers: Drugs and the Privileges of Race and Class Reprint Edition

4.4 out of 5 stars 8 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-1588268167
ISBN-10: 1588268160
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Editorial Reviews

Review

Outstanding.... The authors uncover a world of drug dealing far removed from violent street-corner slinging and as entwined in the college experience as all-nighters and keg parties. Providing unparalleled insight into the war on drugs and an all-but-ignored deviant world, this book is as entertaining to read as it is educational. --Peter Moskos, John Jay College of Criminal Justice

An excellent study that finally puts the race/class-biased War on Drugs into perspective. --William J. Chambliss, George Washington University

Compellingly demonstrates that college drug dealers, who are mostly white and middle-class, are not subject to the same constraints as typical, street-level dealers. --Heith Copes, University of Alabama at Birmingham --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

About the Author

A. Rafik Mohamed is associated professor of sociology at the University of San Diego. Erik D. Fritsvold is assistant professor of sociology at the University of San Diego --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 199 pages
  • Publisher: Lynne Rienner Pub; Reprint edition (December 31, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1588268160
  • ISBN-13: 978-1588268167
  • Product Dimensions: 0.5 x 6 x 8.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #629,328 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By L. L. Yates on March 26, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book describes in detail -- at a very personal level -- how drug dealers from white prosperous backgrounds operate on college campuses, and do so with almost complete freedom. The contrast with how young men of color are treated could not be more vivid. The dealers described in this carefully researched book move large amounts of illegal drugs, are tied into drug networks that cross state lines and go into Mexico, and yet rarely face any consequences, even when they move large amounts of illegal drugs in their flashy personal cars, speeding, parking illegally, and brazenly confronting the police. Meanwhile, of course, young people of color, even though they act with discretion and sometimes even if they don't even use drugs, face harassment and the threat of prison sentences counted in decades.

By any criterion, these dealers do as much harm as any other drug dealer, break the same laws, and yet are keenly aware that it is almost impossible that they will get in any trouble, let alone face the long prison sentences that are commonplace in inner city neighborhoods. A major reason for this, the book makes clear, is the existence of gatekeepers, including physicians, college officials, campus police, parents, and ordinary law enforcement, all of whom protect these dealers from consequences.

This is an essential book for understanding racial disparity in this nation, easily deserving a place on the shelf with American Apartheid, the groundbreaking book on housing segregation, Black Wealth/White Wealth, Medical Apartheid, and The New Jim Crow. However, unlike these critical books, Dorm Room Dealers focuses on the privileges given to prosperous white people, making clear that they include not only material goods and social status but protection from the consequences of one's action, no matter how deeply condemned they are to society.
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Format: Paperback
I am a clinical psychologist who just finished reading Dorm Room Dealers. I work with a lot of clients who are working on recovery from substance abuse and have a particular interest in reading more about drugs, drug culture, and drug policies.

In this book, the authors spent about 6 years infiltrating college campuses across California and getting to know the college drug selling business from the inside out. They interviewed many people and were able to discuss a variety of ways in which white, upper middle class white students who sold drugs operated differently than the stereotypical lower class urban minorities. This is an important topic, and this book definitely helped me to understand this better; their book gives me a basis to feel like I know what I'm talking about if I were to now discuss the biases in law enforcement when it comes to drug policy.

However, before buying this book, you should note that it reads like a research paper and can be kind of dry and repetitive. That was a major downside which made it kind of tedious for me to plow through this book.
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Format: Hardcover
We don't fight the war on drugs against rich college-educated white folks.

Too many books (my own included) treat drug crimes like it's a black thing that whites wouldn't understand. Well it's not like that. Most drug dealers are white. Most drug users are white. It just these people doesn't make the news (or get police attention).

What about all those college drug dealers? Why do we never hear about them? Well this book answers that. I mean, anybody who has gone to college knows you can buy drugs in college. It's like these college drug dealers have no fear of ever getting caught.

Exactly.

These dorm-room dealers sell drugs like they're dorm-room posters. Everybody can see them. They have no fear. You see, the rules are different for them. College drug dealers get in the game, make some cash (or support their habit), and then graduate and get a job, maybe in daddy's firm.

Am I oversimplifying? Of course. You should buy the book. It's outstanding ethnography.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book is a must have for anyone interested in the drug war. I especially enjoyed the dealer bios featured throughout the book because they gave entertaining glimpses into the lives of dorm room dealers.
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