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Showing 1-10 of 32 reviews(Verified Purchases). See all 38 reviews
on May 13, 2012
I was assigned this book for my Sociology 104 class at KU. Out of the five books we were expected to read, this book was definitely top 3 (with Connected and Sidewalk, thought the other two - The Tender Cut & The Second Shift - were also eye-opening as well). Though I still have trouble with remembering what terms belong to what principles, like hegemony, my understanding of what was taught in the class was paralleled. This book is an eye opener and you don't need to understand what all of the terms mean to get a feel for the point being made here. Yes, there are a couple of chapters that express the meaning of this study in terms that are difficult to take on, especially if you are not expecting to or interested in studying sociology beyond the basics or have studied, but don't let that affect your decision when ascertaining the truth. This book is amazing and nearly riveting. I did understand the professional terms, for the most part, while I read this book (since I was knee deep in the class at the time and soaking up as much 'goody' as possible) and I would just like to say that it is worth your time.

This book focuses on a group of homeless heroine addicts (though many smoke crack and drink as well). This study/story shows a parallel of survival and social structure similar to that of 'normal' life, but, of course, with a bias of illegal dependency and the carelessness for others; the root of the human soul in some (maybe many) cases. Through a constant circus ride of highs and lows, this group of lost individuals will tear your heart out as they make blind, selfish choices, cleanse themselves of addiction and fall back into the arms of homeless hopelessness, scavenge for opportunities to make good to fix, and many other awful reasons that will hopefully deter any sane member of the human race from ever touching a drug that has been repeatedly proven as B.A.D. since 1918 (after its discovery in 1889... hm). That was a long sentence. :/

Read it, love/hate it, & pass it on...

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on October 21, 2012
Philippe Bourgois and Jeff Schonberg spent over twelve years in the field becoming intimately knowledgeable with the day to day lives and problems of homeless heroin addicts in this priceless ethnography. This work gives a real life look at complex social theories like biopower, habitus and symbolic violence that allows insights beyond what a student can glean from reading the works of Foucault and Bourdieu. As an added bonus, the publisher has allowed a kindle version making Righteous Dopefiend easily accessible wherever you are with great features like text-to-speech. I would still recommend picking-up a hard copy in addition to your kindle version Schonberg's striking photography which really brings the characters from along the Edgewater Boulevard to life and enriches the text.
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on September 4, 2017
great pictures, tragic figures, truly representative of a life of homeless hopeless heroin addicts in a local neighborhood.
saw this at a school bookstore as reading for a sociology class and bought it for myself for it's aesthetics and interesting stories. would recommend.
opiate addiction, in particular, is an oozing sore, a pus-oozing blight square on the backside of America and it's spreading it's MRSA medication-resistant poison invisibly under-the-skin, through word of mouth, over highways, and through the back alleys of middle america and the darkweb.
don't look away.
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on September 15, 2016
Individualism in the United States causes its citizens to view the homeless, poor, and addicted as being "deserving" of their situations, that it is a product of their own lack of self control and responsibility. This book will give a new perspective to these dehumanized groups and allow the reader to better understand the forces that keep them locked in their position.
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on December 2, 2014
Well written and engrossing. Considering using this for a coming Anthropology course. Easy to read and interesting. The ethnographic work is set in theory quite well, with the theory being easily understood. Often ethnographies get so highfalutin that even seasoned anthropologists struggle through. This is approachable.

In terms of the approach, I like the photographic component and the fact that the authors address the possibility of various misreadings/misuses of photographs in ethnographic works.
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on May 4, 2017
I had to read this for a class and it was super interesting to read about drug addicts
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on May 24, 2014
Required for a class, but it is a really good ethnography about "street people" in a study that was done over a 12 year period. Even though it's an ethnography, the writers really engage the reader and help the reader to more fully understand the subject matter, and the people. Definitely recommend.
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on August 28, 2015
This was a required book for a cultural anthropology course I took but I loved it. This was not a book I would have thought to pick up and read and this topic was something I had never really thought about. It was a great read and I will be keeping it for future reading.
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on June 15, 2014
Bought this book for my cultural anthropology class. The material is presented in a manner that keeps your interest (especially great for college students who have six books to read in a course like this.) Great insight into a culture that we typically just judge and cast off.
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on June 6, 2017
Eye opening book!
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