Chapter 9 is about detox treatment programs. The Edgewater boulevard homeless all have went to treatment programs previously but they don't work because they fail to help them continue to be drug free once they leave by providing them with to change the social factors that led them to use drugs in the first place. Tina goes to a treatment program but before Jeff drops her off she buys and uses crack. There is a barrier to treatment because facilities are funded by their success rates so they try to take people that are more likely to be successful in the program. So it is hard for drug addicts to get treatment especially if they have already have been in a treatment program. Once Tina completed her treatment she was sent to a women's shelter, the treatment program is supposed to set up the patients with long term care options but since none was available this was the best option the could find which wasn't really a good option at all. Tina eventually went back to using drugs because the shelter she was placed in didn't help her in any way. The chapter goes on to discuss methadone maintenance programs to stop heroine addicts from using heroine and coercive treatments as an alternative to being incarcerated.
The conclusion of Righteous Dopefiend connects theories to practices that affect drug treatment. It's discussed how alternatives in other countries has helped drug addicts who were committing crimes and causing problems were able to live relatively normal lives by being prescribed the drugs they were addicted to. Then it discusses how a study morphine prescription helped Hank. Risk reduction methods and the war on drugs are explained in detail. The conclusion brings all the factors together that has helped drugs continue to be a big problem in America and ways that the drug problem can be lessened.
Why aren't there enough long-term treatment options for drug addicts after detox treatment?
How does the government expect drug addicts who complete short treatment programs to stay drug free if they are put back into the same environment that they were in before treatment?
If alternative methods like methadone maintenance or study prescriptions of heroine have been successful in other countries to help people who are addicts live productive lives and stop participating in crime, why aren't they used more in the United States?
The treatment chapter of Righteous Dopefiend covers Tina and Carter's attempts at sobriety. Tina is admitted to a treatment center though the recommendations of the ethnographers. Jeff picks her up to take her to intake, but Tina delays the process as long as possible and tries to get her last hits of crack and heroin before detox. Tina is eventually admitted but drops out of the program several weeks later. She ends up living along in a shelter set up next to a dumpster after her previous encampment is destroyed. Carter enters into a detox program as well and is able to stay sober for a year. During this time he is able to maintain employment and nearly escapes the drug lifestyle he once had. However, he loses his job and fatally overdoses on heroin. The chapter covers methadone treatment as an option for heroin addicts. While it has its benefits and has helped many people with their heroin addiction, it is also highly addictive in itself. It is described as having a more physical addiction, more so then heroin. This turns many of the Edgewater homeless away from attempting this type of treatment. The ethnographers noted that none of the black homeless observed tried methadone treatment and only whites and Latinos voluntarily joined.
Do addicts continue to have cravings for heroin and other drugs for the rest of their lives after becoming sober?
How does treatment vary in different states? Is there a region in the U.S. that has better treatment results than other places?
In the conclusion, the authors discuss the overall message of their research. Petey and Hank both escape homelessness, although through different means. The authors also dissect the 'war on drugs' and conclude that it has already been lost. They call for more support and treatment options to be made available to the homeless in order to treat the problem rather then punish it.
Did the homeless support each other when they decide to become sober or enter treatment?
Chapter 9-Righteous Dopefiend
Treatment can be a big issue for homeless drug addicts, both for gaining access to it, but also it being provided to them with an assurance of quality.Chapter 9 discusses the whole prospect of drug treatment in the US and its implications. The authors claim that treatment isn't easy to gain for the addicts, but additionally, problems in treatment are exacerbated by lack of public funding and less cooperation between detox programs and social services. They found out that the addicts desired to become "clean", after many of them had their own life interventions and crises. Even though the addicts want access to treatment, the treatment programs operate on an audit basis, channeling their funding only if they guarantee success in recovery. It still remains precariously less than what is required for complete recovery for a majority of the population in the US,the authors claim. Post-Detox treatment is also seen to be absent in many cases, and the use of methadone during treatment and recovery, can also lead to harmful side affects and complicated addictions, that these issues are still not seen to be addressed. Over the years however, treatment has been seen to more viable and applicable for drug criminals than incarceration. This however, still does not solve of eradicating drug addiction in the US.
The authors conclude their work on the homeless addicts in Edgewater, by stating that the ethnography was a way of linking critical theory to practicality, and trying to understand the reality of the situation,than just dealing with hypotheticals. They talked about the use of heroin as medical treatment,to ease the pain from withdrawal symptoms that most addicts had. The addicts also engaged in risk reduction and every addict had a different reaction to treatment than any other person. The authors found differences in intercultural interaction and behaviors between the addicts, and how this aided and divided people based on their similarities and differences. They also acknowledged on a larger scale,the problem with governments,treatment programs and dysfunctional institutions,in providing adequate help and support for these homeless addicts.
1)Can Addiction be stopped?
2)Why is treatment so bad in the US and what can be done to better it?
3)What are the harmful side effects of methadone treatment?
Chapter nine of Righteous Dopefiend covers the immense obstacles and hypocrisies that the Edgewater homeless had to overcome and endure in order to try to walk away from habitual heroin injecting. Told mainly in connection with Tina's experiences, the chapter demonstrates how the failure to adequately fund healthcare on a federal and state level, combined with the myriad amounts of bureaucratic paperwork and the lack of culturally relative procedure, results in a usually apathetic medical workforce which frustrates and alienates those seeking treatment. The institutional paradigm fails to take into account the various stages that one has to go through in order to adopt a new positive habitual behavior pattern over a long period of time. Without the ability to use resources to keep them away from their former lifestyle it makes it that much easier to become completely lost.
1. How much money would it take to fully fund the types of policies that would provide adequate healthcare and rehabilitation to the Edgewater homeless?
2. What are ways to generate meaningful unemployment opportunities to help people stop opiate use? What would be the easiest sectors to do this in?
The conclusion of the book summarizes the team's findings and covers their call for a return to treating the economic, physical, and mental symptoms of drug addiction with kindness instead of brutality and profit seeking, In order for such a paradigm to be applied to drug enforcement policy in the United States then we must admit that we have failed and seek the help of those around the world that have done a far better job than us. The lens must change from one depicting "Others" to showing other people and that mind altering substances are an inevitable part of life. Very few people want to lose themselves to mindless hedonism and crime but most do as a because of bad experiences and a lack of direction in life. Every single person is infinitely complicated and thus requires individual and unique attention in order for communal and personal development. It is strange that such a paradigm is not widely accepted; think of all of the liberal arts majors you could employ to start!
1. What are ways to spread discussion about the kind of policies that this book suggests?
Chapter 9 delved into the treatment experiences of the Edgewater homeless. Specifically, the authors show the difficulty of accessing treatment facilities, the trouble many have committing themselves to getting clean and the lack of post treatment services, which when combined lead this homeless population right back to where they started. In this chapter, Bourgois and Schonberg described Tina's ordeal, which seems like it could be applied to anyone in the Edgewater homeless community. They also highlight Carter's success and then subsequent downfall from a clean life style. The chapter also discusses methadone, which narrates a similar story as to those that were found in the movie Methadonia.
The authors in the conclusion of this book discuss the bigger picture of how they want their research to be portrayed. The researchers go on to apply their research to real life solutions to the problems that they saw amongst the people they studied. The policies explained included: prescribing heroin to users to help better manage the detrimental affects of the drug, increased funding for treatment and harm reduction services, putting a stop to the War on Drugs, and creating a society that is tolerant towards the difficulties of struggling with addiction and providing a support system to assist those struggling through. Bourgois and Schonberg conclude the book describing the damaging affects the American neoliberal system has had on America's most vulnerable populations and calls to action a withdrawal from these policies.
1. What do you think is the causal link between the lack of social services and/or post treatment services and the amount of drug use in communities such as Edgewater?
2. Do you believe that any state in the United States would ever implement a treatment- based system rather than a punitive centered system for drug users?
3. Why are social programs and treatment services seen as cash cows, when in fact they could be beacons for developing fully functioning members of society?
Chapter 9 focuses on the challenges of treatment for heroin addicts, especially homeless ones. The options are limited by inadequate accompanying social services and public funding and are often ineffective at maintaining long-term sobriety. This chapter follows Tina's attempt at becoming clean at a detox treatment center. She managed to make it through the treatment but, unfortunately, relapsed. Due to inaccessible post-detox treatment options, homeless people are still trapped in old ways of life in order to get by. Treatment programs may help one get clean and provide resources for people to find jobs and get educated but they don't promise that these resources will be effective in benefitting the people who utilize them. Long term chronic drug users have to rely on their individual will power after detox to continue their sobriety but are often unsure of how to pass the time of day when it doesn't involve drugs and so they fall back to drugs while failing to find a sense of meaning in the world. Chapter 9 also outlines the methadone treatment centers and the problems with those. Methadone may provide relief from withdrawals but it just leads the heroin addict to become addicted to an alternative substance. Buprenorphine is highlighted in this chapter as a more successful
component of detoxing as it is less painful and addictive than methadone.
The conclusion is a critical look at components of society, homelessness, and drug use that was discovered and portrayed in the author's ethnographic work. It overviews the effectiveness of heroin prescriptions in places such as Switzerland. Heroin prescriptions for people who have consistently failed at kicking their addiction benefit society through decreases in crime, violence, and family disruption and is also much less expensive than policies focused on abstinence. This chapter also discusses the need for treatment to be more public health focused in an effort to be effective for different people at different places in their life and drug career. This includes the need for doctors to be trained to recognize the social dimensions of homelessness and drug use and become less financially and politically driven. It also overviews strategies for more effective needle exchange programs and policies of which need to be properly funded and available. Also, the chapter describes the effects of the War on Drugs and its failed attempts at maintaining social control over drugs; it has created large prison populations of drug offenders, has been very expensive, and has caused more ethnic disparities in health and unemployment.
1. What are the implications of ineffective treatment programs and policies?
2. How do the treatment options in the United States differ from programs in different countries around the world? Are they more or less effective?
3. What is the first step that needs to be taken in an effort to fix the problems that the War on Drugs has caused?
Reading about the journey that Jeff and Philippe took was a sobering story to read. The years that they dedicated to this type of work did a nice job of explaining to the readers how scary drugs are. They speak to the readers about their feeling of need to help this people and help us outsiders get a better understanding of the struggles these people go through daily. Methadone maintenance is effective but for how long and what kind of damage is really being done? The Swiss came up with a treatment known as heroin prescription, basically they are giving small amounts of heroin to people to help reduce the use of heroin and opiate abuse. Statics show that this process is less painful and has quicker effect on the person to clean up(pg 299). If the rates of this are good then why is it not advertised more like methadone is?
"Different modalities of treatment and services are effective for different people at different times in their careers of drug use and homelessness".(pg 302) This statement stuck out the most to me of any part of the conclusion. It is true that only certain treatment programs are going to work for certain people. A long long term user of heroin is not always going to successfully quick the drug cold turkey, if they are highly addicted it could even kill them. Methadone maintenance is a way to solve the problem of opiate use but often we see that the users of methadone resort to using other drugs along with the methadone to alleviate the pain and to get a high. Even though going to through withdrawal is extremely hard and painful for some depending on the addiction, with treatment, support groups and medical intervention is can be one of the best ways for a person to sober up and stay sober for a long period of time. Being incarcerated and quitting cold turkey in jail, being released from jail with little opportunities is just asking for relapse to happen. Doctors, nurses, case workers, social workers etc. devote their life to saving the lives of these people because we often see greatness in them and want them to have a better pain-free, drug free life.
Although medical treatment is strongly suggested for helpings addicts kick their habits, advocates for treatment options say that it is normal to relapse and that everyday is a struggle to remain sober. This is why sober addicts are always considered "recovering." It seems that after a while, many addicts want to get clean but actually making the effort to do so gets put off for so long. Seeking treatment usually follows a crisis of some sort or "hitting bottom." Another problem with treatment options is that a lot of addicts seem to be very flaky with it. Like Tina for example, she wants to get treatment but is so determined to get crack and heroin beforehand. In some cases, addicts don't even end up making it or ever going again. Another obstacle is that treatment options are not equally available to everyone. Enforced and institutionalized artificial obstacles are in place to bar "risky patients" from getting treatment. In addition, there are unreasonable tasks patients have to perform in order to prove that they are ready to receive treatment like calling every morning at 9:00am for three weeks straight. Some people feel that treatment options favor blacks when in many cases, treatment options aren't provided with adequate funding causing facilities to be more selective. This makes sense as to why "high-risk" patients are sometimes rejected, because facilities can't devote as much to them. A lack of post-treatment options also make recovery hard for addicts.
1. It's surprising to me that with such a large crackdown on drugs, that there government doesn't devote more money for effective treatment fir more addicts.
2. Another thing I find to be ironic is that treatment facilities are so strict on their patients with check-ins and follow-ups. Some people in the book like Frank, feels like he is in a prison with someone else controlling his life. Treatment should be something that's encouraging and productive.
Getting off of drugs is one of the hardest things to do but with right treatment and support it makes it a little easier. Treatment programs want to get people off the streets and into the centers to help the drug ridden world that San Francisco is dealing with in "Righteous Dopefiend". There are members of the Edgewater group that want to get clean and are willing to go to treatment if there is availability but we are reading about the struggles getting there. Jeff has to drag Tina to the program center where she will be sent to detox and then they will find her a place to do long term inpatient treatment. In the process of dragging Tina to the program center, he hits bumps in the road with Tina wanting things done and getting her "last high" before she goes. In my opinion this is avoidance and you almost sense a fear of wanting to change her life. Tina goes through her detox and by regulations after 31 days must be placed in a treatment center, shelter or living situation that is suitable for her sobriety. They have hard time finding her a place to go, it comes down to putting her in a women's shelter in San Fran.(pg 280) How is it effective to put someone in a woman's shelter in a heavy drug area and think that this will help them stay sober?
Carter another Edgewater Blvd resident is released from jail but was not put in a placement center or program to help with his sobriety either. He was given a construction job for ex-cons but due to weather he was unable to work for a while and got back into the dopefiend world.(pg. 280) What seems to be a common occurrence and we even saw it in "Black Tar Heroin" is that these people come out of jail and want to live a clean life but hit a rough patch and instantly resort back to the drug world. Why is it so hard for these people to get into a center for help? These people are not allowed to be with their families due to the families own issues and do not have anywhere to go so they live their street life that they are comfortable with. This does not help the relapse rates for the city and only makes the system look like they do not want to help the war on drugs.
Unfortunately Carter dies and it is all because of drugs. He was honored respectfully but his true friends were not at the funeral, and I can imagine it was due to their drug habits. Lack of treatment options and lack of opportunity has driven these people to turn on their sobriety and resort to using dope.
CH. 9: Treatment
This reading shed light on the treatment programs available to the homeless of San Francisco. The treatment facilities to the general public see to be open and inviting. In reality the facilities are very exclusive on who they accept. Because of the limited funding treatment facilities exclude person with high risk and only accept those who jump through the many hurdles to gain admission. Also when a person leaves a treatment program they receive little post detox service. Tina for example relapsed because she received no help post detox. The reading then discusses the controversy surrounding methadone. Medical professional see the use of methadone as a medicinal treatment. People on the other side of the argument see methadone as another drug. It is apparent that once one of the people in Edgewater start a methadone therapy they become entrapped by the rules of the clinic that do not benefit the person seeking help.
1. Should more funding be focused on detox treatment programs or methadone treatment?
2. What policy issues a preventing the government from "stepping in" and utilizing practices of a methadone clinic to better the drug user.
The conclusion of Righteous Dopefiend described the overarching message the researchers wanted to convey. They wanted to give a voice to those "who remain invisible to the larger society." They propose heroin prescriptions and discuss the morality of that process. They also discussed the dilemmas surrounding the police enforcement of the homeless. It seems from the homeless perspective the police cause more problems than do good. But society seems to support the acts of law enforcement even if they cause harm (possibly deadly) to the homeless addicts. They discuss the inadequate amount of funding for alternative drug programs. The researchers support the idea of treatment and risk-reduction. They mention the U.S. has taken on too many wars and have neglected the drug problem in the us. The last couple sections of the conclusion are in support of needle exchange programs to prevent the spread of disease.
3. Exactly how much police intervention should utilized for Americas drug problem?
Chapter 9 - Treatment
This chapter had the most impact on me overall because it speaks upon the issues of social services, specifically treatment programs. I almost wanted to cry in this chapter for so many reasons because I felt a connection with the characters and their individual stories. I want to speak upon the death of Carter which was so sad and unexpectant because I had high hopes for Carter and his recovery. I did expect Tina's relapse but I did have hope that she would make a change for the better since her running partner was incarcerated. There were too many events in this chapter that made me upset and sad.
I was really taken back that social services purposefully place barriers within the system because of funding issues. The negative experiences that many of the Edgewater residents were substantial enough to prevent residents from staying "clean" or even accessing services. For example Ben was unable to find a program that would except him because he was considered risky. The text states, "They [treatment programs] purposefully exclude risky patients by institutionalizing artificial obstacles" (279). This to me sounds so obscured and ridiculous because it is harming more than it is helping. I ask the question how can we better serve the homeless community in kicking their drug addiction?
Should we give addicts the opportunity to choose what type of treatment program that want to enter?
We know that the best programs are programs that do not have measurable outcomes but yet we force programs to measure outcomes. Do you think we should establish a way for programs to receive funding even if do not have outcomes or receive funding even if they have not reach their goals?
Do you think in America we should a nation wide treatment program reform?
Why are there very limited after treatment support programs?
5. How do you think race plays a part in treatment programs?
I believe the conclusion was written very well. I believe, the conclusion wrapped up, provided historical context and analyzed the text using a sociological lens. In this chapter I seen a reoccurring theme of how the United States has gotten it wrong since the 60s in aspects such as housing, treatment and employment. I found it very aggravating that the United States has seen other countries practice harm reduction models and seen effective results on multiple occasions. One item that struck me in the text is gentrification in the United States is different from gentrification in the United Kingdom or Switzerland. In the United Kingdom when they rebuilt their cities and the market increased prices of homes in the area which caused affordable housing to decline; the United Kingdom had built more affordable housing but just located it in different areas. I wonder why the United States has not taken this approach? There are many prevalent structural issues such as housing, employment, and criminal that punish homeless for being poor and punish them more severely when they are homeless addicts. Ultimately, these structural issues lead to social inequality.
1. Why does the United States continue to use law enforcement strategies to help addicts when it is more expensive then per se needle exchange, detox programs, and having mobile doctors?
2. The idea of blaming individuals is common and not systems (303) how can we show the marginalized groups to blame the system of inequality and not themselves?
Chapter 9: This chapter focuses on the topic of treatment and the varying stories of recovery of the Edgewater homeless. A big emphasis was placed on the lack of treatment available to recovering addicts once they leave the actual treatment facility and are thrown back into the environment they came from. Tina had a very hard time remaining sober once she left treatment; she began looking into a post-detox treatment program. However, there were no spaces available, so her counselors moved her to a shelter. She eventually relapsed. This highlights how unavailable treatment can be to those who are seeking it out, and how an environment can influence a person's lifestyle.
Conclusion: The conclusion thoroughly analyzes different program options and policies that could be beneficial to people struggling with drug addiction. They highlight how harm reduction strategies have been proven successful, but were not implemented until the 90s. This chapter also sheds a light on the current prison population statistics and how the war on drugs has affected them.
1. How do the methadone experiences of the Edgewater community line up with those of the subjects in Methadonia?
2. How would society go about changing the views we have on drug treatment and prevention?
3. What should be done about the unavailability of treatment for some addicts?
In chapter 9 of Righteous Dopefiend, Bourgois and Schonberg focus on the treatment and attempted recoveries of the Edgewater Boulevard homeless in their study. They begin by discussing Tina's attempt at recovery and entering a detox program along with the difficulty of staying off of drugs once getting out of treatment. There is a section on the unavailability of post-detox treatment, and they use Tina as an example of how unrealistic it is for the Edgewater homeless to be expected to stay clean on their own in that environment. They discuss methadone treatment and other treatment options for heroin addicts. Next, Bourgois and Schonberg write about Carter getting clean and then soon after dying from overdosing.
In the conclusion of Righteous Dopefiend, titled "Critically Applied Public Anthropology," Bourgois and Schonberg write mainly about what steps they believe should be taken to help those in situations similar to the Edgewater homeless. They talk about prescribing heroin and Hank being prescribed morphine, and a lot about the housing and treatment situations of the group they studied. Bourgois and Schonberg analyze the history of risk/harm reduction in the United States and related programs like needle exchanges, which were apparently not allowed until 1992. They also discuss the history of homeless people and rejected classes as well as current prison statistics. Hogan and Nickie's deaths are also detailed in this section of the book, attributed partly to the medical and housing systems.
1) How are the Edgewater homeless' experiences with methadone similar to the experiences of those from the film Methadonia?
2) What happened to the rest of the study's participants? Do Bourgois and Schonberg still stay in touch with any of them?
3) If prescribing heroin becomes legal like Bourgois and Schonberg discuss, what are some of the possible social consequences for both users and the rest of society?
Carter is arrested and forced into treatment under coercive circumstances. He emerges from his Narcotics Anonymous program job-bound and distanced from Tina, but later dies of an overdose and is stripped clean of his money when his body is taken by the coroner. He is given a military burial.
Chapter 9 of Righteous Dopefiend details the difficulties one faces to obtain drug treatment and thereafter maintain a sober lifestyle. Tina had a hard time finally letting go of her old drug habits, but eventually made the decision to enter a inpatient detox treatment program. After being in the program and remaining sober for about one month, her next step was to move into a post-detox treatment program. After her counselors were unable to find an opening for Tina at a long-term residential treatment program, she had to be transported to a women's shelter that was located in a area known for its drug and crime rates. Shortly after her arrival, Tina quickly left and relapsed. This chapter highlights just how difficult it is for addicts to maintain sobriety. It also highlights how a difficult scenario, such as Tina's entrance into the women's shelter, can trigger an addict's relapse.
The conclusion of Righteous Dopefiend analyses different programs and policies that would be beneficial for homeless drug users such as the Edgewater homeless. Risk reduction is a program that has been proven successful in Europe, Australia, and Canada. Even though the programs have been cost effective, in the United States there is a lack of funding for them, rather law enforcement is overfunded. When addressing the issues that face the homeless and homeless addicts it is important to also consider the social dimensions surrounding these issues.
1. What parallels do you see between Righteous Dopefiend and the documentary on black tar heroin?
2. If risk reduction has been proven successful, why is it not more widely used/accepted in the United States?
3. What do you believe needs to be done so that addicts can have a safe transition between detox treatment and long-term residential treatment?
Chapter 9 of Righteous Dopefiend gave insight on the treatment of addiction. We learn that even if someone kicks their addiction they are likely to return to that lifestyle the second something goes awry. We see much of Tina's story as she goes into treatment, kicks her addiction, but when it is time for her to leave the program, the staff fails to find a new home for her that is reliable and atmospherically benevolent for continued recovery and sobriety maintenance. Tina is nearly set up for failure in this sense as she is bombarded with temptation and lack of support after the program. With Carter's story, we also see how far along an individual can be in recovery and STILL might return to it. Carter was doing so well, but one stop back at Edgewater and he was a deadman.
In the conclusion of righteous Doepfiend, the author reviews the 12 year study and discusses treatment, and the drug war throughout history. They carefully analyze the drug policy and discuss their continued support of risk reduction programs. They re-explain the faults in punitive measures and criticize the lack of money spent on public health. They also update us on where their Edgewater characters went after the end of the study. Several had overdosed and died, others simply moved out of the Edgewater area but remained heroin addicts. They mentioned that Tina and Petey finally made it out, fully kicked their addictions and were doing well. Finally, they returned to the major discussion of the oppression of social classes and its role in producing addiction. The author points to the laws on hiring need-based homeless workers; he says that is essentially discrimination against lower social class in prevention of their ability to gain a quick job. Despite the wealth of the United States, leaders and those with money enlarge the gap and ostracize the homeless into a "grey" area--thus causing them to take on that "label" or lifestyle and turn to drugs to alter reality.
Why does it seem like drug treatment programs are so close to the drug scenes themselves? Would it be better if there were simply a treatment information site near the drug scene but the actual program was removed from it so that when patients are released from treatment they are not dumped right back into temptation?
How does prescribed heroin work? Do they receive doses directly from their doctor on a daily basis?
Do you think it's the fear/experience of withdrawel symptoms that prevents people wanted to kick or is it more just the fear of the real world after addiction?
Chapter nine focuses on treatment options for addicts living on the streets. Unfortunately long-term treatment is usually pretty spendy and homeless addicts obviously cannot afford this. The chapter also talks about the struggles people have when going into treatment and I found that I've heard those excuses before, not with drugs but with diets and working out. You know it's going to be hard so you tell yourself "alright, I already used drugs or ate a lot this week.... so I'll just start next week" or you have one slip up and decide "well...now that I messed up I mise well start over next week" instead of looking at the problem and telling yourself that you need to start NOW.
The conclusion talked about causes and possible solutions for these addicts. It mentions how different people need and prefer different kinds of treatments, just like everyone learns in a different way. They mentioned using opiate prescriptions for addicts so as to curve off the painful withdrawals of heroin and help with detox. Another idea was to stop the war on drugs and focus more on rehabilitation.
Why do we think people like to make excuses on when to start, like starting now vs. next week will make a difference?
Instead of stopping the war on drugs would another solution be to just add more treatment opportunities in jail that they could continue after the sentence as well, seeing as how their addiction is still technically illegal and because some people may use hiding in treatment as a way to stay of prison?
For this blog post, I read chapter nine and the conclusion to the book Righteous Dopefiend. Chapter 9 is called "Treatment" and talks about the treatment options for the homeless addicts. All of the homeless addicts talked about "getting clean" during the anthropologist's stay with them. A lot of the times they talked about getting clean happened after a big event, such as someone's arrest or a meeting with an estranged child. There is the detox option, which is described in detail, and also methadone maintenance. We learned about methadone during the film "Methadonia" and the experiences described during this chapter seemed to match up with what was in the film. One of the most important themes from this chapter is how difficult treatment is to obtain for these homeless addicts. It goes beyond the money portion, for a lot of these people don't have insurance and cannot pay out of pocket. There are social stigmas surrounding treatment- being homeless and being an addict are part of these people's identities, which is something that I don't think a lot of people consider when they look critically at situation such as these.
The conclusion of the book looked at some themes that sort of tied everything together. This includes heroin disposal, and the importance of the American dream.
What really struck me as being relevant and touching is the very last few lines from the book: "The Edgewater homeless represent the human cost of the American neoliberal model... [they] are as all-American as the California dream." This is a very important thing to consider when thinking about what it means to be American, especially in a state with as much to offer as California. The American dream means something completely different to someone who lives in a high rise in LA versus someone on the street in San Francisco. It reminds me of anomie theory, where there is strain and normlessness in every day life. This book did a good job of exploring that theme and showing a different side of life to people who may not know anything about it.
1). Is there a film adaptation of this book? Did they do any video recording?
2). What would the anthropologists involved think of the film "Methadonia?"
3). Have they followed up with these people since publication?
Chapter 9 of Righteous Dopefiend looks at the difficulties the Edgewater homeless face when trying to get treatment. Even when the addicts are able to access detox treatment, long term treatment is much harder to come by leaving way for the addicts to relapse and return to their old habits. In one part of the chapter, Tina resists going to the treatment center with Jeff and tries to keep using for her "last time" to avoid reality. Nearly half of the Edgewater homeless are said to have stopped their habit for long periods of time, but almost always relapse. The chapter ends detailing Carter's attempts to get clean. After graduating from a Narcotics Anonymous program, Carter eventually relapses and dies of a drug overdose.
The conclusion of Righteous Dopefiend discusses the causes and possible solutions to the prevalence of homelessness and addiction in the US. One solution that the authors mention is offering opiate prescriptions for heroin addicts, which has shown a good amount of success in Switzerland and other countries. The authors criticize the lack of programs available to the addicts, and even those that are available are usually not long term. The conclusion also gives brief summaries of what had become of the homeless at the end of the study. Some of the people, such as Tina and Petey, moved away from Edgewater and their situations seemed to be improving. However, most of the others ended up dying of overdoses or remaining in similar situations.
After seeing Carter succeed in staying clean for so long, does his eventual relapse and death cause the other addicts to lose hope or become more motivated to recover?
Does the self-blame of the homeless for their situation help them try to succeed?
How would the addicts' drug habits change if they had access to affordable housing?
Chapter 9 from Righteous Dopefiend titled "treatment" begins by describing how difficult it can be for homeless addicts to get the treatment that they need when they need it. Many of the Edgewater homeless expressed that they wanted to get clean, and almost all of them entered treatment during the time that the researchers were with them. Tina decided that she wanted to go to treatment, and after a long afternoon of procrastination Jeff finally got her to commit herself. Although Tina was determined to get clean while in treatment (she even invited her estranged mother to visit her there) upon release she was unable to find a place to stay that facilitated her recovery and almost immediately relapsed. Throughout their time with the Edgewater homeless the researchers noticed a huge disconnect between in-patient treatment facilities and after treatment care. Most of the time once the addicts were released from treatment they were sent back to the streets without a proper support system to help them maintain sobriety. when the addicts went back to their old lives it was impossible not to use again, which is a very understandable and predictable outcome. Any chance of recovery relied on the addicts starting over from square one and avoiding the lifestyle and friends that they maintained when they used; the absence of post-detox services proved damning for the Edgewater homeless. A small portion of the chapter was dedicated to a discussion of methadone maintenance therapy and court ordered treatment both of which were temporarily successful for some of the addicts. The end of the chapter is about Carter's overdose, which was especially difficult to handle considering he had been in recovery for quite some time. The chapter ended on a somber note, Carter's death proves how difficult recovery can be and how something seemingly minor can lead to relapse. The conclusion of the book primarily covers the ways in which society can help or hinder addiction recovery, particularly for the homeless population. A number of factors worked together to make recovery difficult for these individuals and it is the goal of the book to shed some light on these societal flaws such as the criminalization of needles, opposition to harm reduction, and structural problems that lead to homelessness. The researchers suggest putting an end to the war on drugs and display the benefits of heroine prescriptions to provide possible solutions.
Some questions I had while reading these chapters:
Could heroine prescriptions really work in the United States? It is difficult to imagine given our current societies view on illegal drugs.
I also wonder if the absence of halfway houses and other post-treatment facilities has persisted in recent years? I feel like this aspect of treatment is perhaps more important than the detox itself.
Domestic and child abuse seemed to be at the center of the addiction seen in the Edgewater Homeless, I wonder what other research says about this connection.
Chapter 6: Parenting describes the addicts' roles in the lives of their children. The addicts were for the most part inadequate parents, with some of them developing no relationships with their children. A common theme was having multiple children with several partners. Tina says she had five kids with four different men. Frank states that he had not seen any of his own children (two sons and one daughter with three different women "in I don't know how many years" (pg. 184). Another theme was abuse. Many of the addicts describe being abused as children, and then in turn abusing their own kids. The authors theorize that this is due to absentee fathers feeling the need to exert their dominance on the family.
Chapter 7: Male Love outlines the strong male partnerships in the Edgewater community. The chapter details specifically the relationship of Petey with both Scotty and Hank. These relationships are based around helping each other get high and survive on the streets, but often become sexual. Petey was viewed as Hank's submissive. He was called a "bitch" who was willing to do whatever Hank pleased, including sexual acts. In general, the addicts in Edgewater were homophobic, making the male partnerships all the more interesting. The remainder of the chapter details how politics, law enforcement, health care, and social services affect the homeless addicts. In San Francisco at the time, public health and social services were outweighed by a law enforcement, and as a result there was a zero tolerance policy for homelessness.
-Is it the state's responsibility to care for the homeless?
-Which policy do you favor in addressing homelessness: law enforcement, or health/social services?
-Is it possible to be a responsible parent and a heroin addict?
Chapter 6: Parenting
Chapter 6 in Righteous Dopefiend unveiled a new side of the group. Members of the Edgewater community sat down and spoke deeply about their family lives to Philippe. There were common themes in the members' story. Most were abused heavily as children and these behaviors were passed down to them from their parents and now their children have picked up the behavior. Most have never had significant time with their children but Tina was an exception. She actually raised some of her children but her addiction to heroin disabled her from caring for them properly. She finds solace in knowing her children are in a better place, as do most of the residents of the Edgewater community. The chapter comes full circle and notes that family violence is a cycle and a history of violence influences the generations to come.
Chapter 7: Male Love
The book addresses the relationships between running partners and the question of romance. These men often display qualities of romantic relationships but do not feel anything is wrong or unusual with the relationship. This chapter also brought attention to a number of deaths in the community and the rise in conservative policies in California. A number of encampments were torn down and the members were displaced but managed to keep close to each other. Law enforcement was increasingly looked upon to fix the homeless problem.
1. For members who have lost all contact with their children, how have the children coped with the news of the parents living in Edgewater?
2. The authors spoke about the increasing policies against homeless but what organizations or politicians have fought for the homeless?
3. After the alarming numbers of medical conditions related to living on the street, why has the medical community chosen to ignore all these reports? Have they changed their methods since the book was published?
Chapter 6 was all about parenting of those in the encampment. The chapter first discusses absent fathers. What I found interesting that it was the African American fathers that often sought contact with their children whereas the white fathers were rejected by their children. Next, the researchers discussed patriarchal abuse. It was quite common for the men to have physically hurt their girlfriends, wives or children. Many of them were abused as children as well. The researchers then discussed mothers and how it was much more frowned upon for mothers to be drug addicts than for fathers to be. Chapter 7 discussed the relationships between men in the encampment. First, they talk about the relationship between Scotty and Petey. Scotty had died in Petey's arms. To the researcher's they appeared to be homosexuals, although living in a very homophobic area, but the simply engaged in "homosocial behaviors". This included spooning for warmth, grooming, etc. Scotty and Petey bonded over their drug use and became very close. They also talked about the politics against the homeless in the San Francisco area. Homeless encampments were highlighted on maps in front page newspaper stories and polls were conducted to help eradicate them from those places. Health was also talked about during this eviction process. With the increased pressure to get rid of the homeless in these areas, they lost access to a lot of their health resources.
1. Why is it more frowned upon for mothers to be drug addicts than fathers?
2. Why were the white fathers more likely to have no contact from their children than the black fathers?
3. What started the whole movement to eradicate the homeless in the San Francisco area?
Righteous Dopefiend, Chapters 6 & 7
Chapter 6, "Parenting," describes the relationships of Edgewater homeless with their children and explores the limits of identifying moral responsibility for long-term patterns of traumatic transgenerational relationships. Many of the men had been absent fathers, but still enjoyed being with their families when they got the chance to see them, expressing regret that they didn't get to know their children better. The notion of a continuum between victim and perpetrator is portrayed vividly in this chapter. Many of the men who were abusive to their children and wives/girlfriends justified it by saying it was their duty to teach their children to be respectful, and it was the mother's fault if they weren't. However, many of these same men were victims of abuse as children. The cycle of violence is pretty evident here.
1. The cycle of violence is pretty clear among many of the male Edgewater Homeless. Is there a similar cycle of drug use?
2. Why are there such drastic differences between the parenting styles of different races, when substance abuse is a common factor?
Chapter 7, "Male Love," follows a long-term male running partnership to explore the phenomenon of homosocial love relationships among men who are extremely homophobic. The love relationships between two male homeless individuals in this sense has nothing to do with physical attraction; rather, it is yet another demonstration of the moral economy among the homeless. This chapter also further documents the harmful effects of law enforcement the homeless as a marginalized population. It examines how laws passed that made it easier to target homeless people specifically. This chapter also offers a detailed critique of the dysfunctional US medical system, driven by market forces and cutback of public services. It also addresses the large-scale phenomenon of premature aging among the homeless in the US as a result of lifetimes of poverty and chronic substance abuse.
3. Whose responsibility should it be to care for the homeless, and who should decide the level of care they receive?
CH.6 | PARENTING
The author observes the paternal and family relations of Edgewater heroin addicts. None of these subjects are able to prioritize their families over their addictions. There is a clear cycle of violence which persists in the lives of these individuals. Patriarchal violence is inflicted by males who beat wives and children to demonstrate a presence of power in their families. Mothers tended to have more emotionally engaged, prolonged relationships with their children, but also ultimately distanced themselves from child-rearing responsibility. Family serves as a crucible for violence, with lessons of crime and addiction persistent in the lives of both addicts and the people around them.
1. What must change for these cycles of violence to be broken?
CH. 7 | MALE LOVE
The Edgewater group is a homophobic environment, but there are numerous male partnerships with levels of homosocial affection which are not considered unusual. Lumpen subjectivity can provide context for how homosexual actions in the community can still allow for homophobia, in the same way the patriarchal sensibilities in the community's men persist despite a lack of responsibility in caring for their own children.
This chapter also documents the progression of Hank's encampment as a haven for various friends and parolees, through their eviction. The relationship of law enforcement and the Edgewater homeless kept large, stable encampments around only for a few weeks. Hank and Petey both develop severe health issues and are in and out of medical care, but continue to fall through the system's cracks.
2. Is a stable living space possible for the Edgewater homeless who are usually in encampments? How could this be achieved?
3. How does lumpen subjectivity appear in other facets of the Edgewater group's lives?
Chapter 6 starts by stating that the Edgewater homeless all had kids but most was no longer in contact with them. The white homeless men kid's did not want to have any contact with their fathers. But the African American homeless men still had some contact with their children but it was minimal. Carter and Jeffery's children sought them out and would occasionally visit them and let them know what was going on in their lives. The men discussed how they used to be active in their children's lives. The men were happy when they talked about their children but were also sad because of their absence in their lives. All of the Edgewater homeless had experienced domestic violence when they were children usually from their dads. The Edgewater men continued this pattern and were violent towards their children and women.
Chapter 7 is about the relationships of the male homeless on Edgewater Boulevard. The men engaged in homosocial romance, which the men would groom, hug, and spoon with each other. But the men were mostly homophobic. The men that groomed each other would be called running partners. Even though Hank was appearing to have sex with Petey, Ben explained it as Hank asserting his dominance over Petey. In the chapter it explained how a lot of men have sex with other men but they don't consider themselves to be homosexual and some still were homophobic.
Why wouldn't any of the Black Edgewater homeless who had family that was willing to let them live with them accept the invitation?
Why didn't the Edgewater homeless use their families as motivation to help them get their lives back on track and off of drugs? A lot of them mentioned that they missed their families and they loved spending time with them but still chose drugs over their families.
How can men have sex with other men and not consider themselves to be a homosexual?
Chapter 6 focuses on the Edgewater community's experience, or inexperience, with parenting. It illustrates examples of familial themes such as hierarchical status, mechanisms for abused, or gendered roles. As mentioned in Chapter 4, abuse was not uncommon in families that lived in poverty or families that the Edgewater members grew up in. Abuse was seen as a resource to maintain order within the family and display patriarchal or masculine values. The members that were abused as children were often the ones that also displayed violent tendencies within their family- when common avenues for asserting hierarchy and achievement were limited by poverty, substance abuse, or social marginalization these men turned to abuse within their families as a source of moral order. As children they experienced or were aware of domestic violence within their families and interpreted it as a means of constructing masculinity and this preservation of domestic violence within families across multiple generations turns victims into perpetrators. Many of the Edgewater community members did not stay in close contact with their children even though some describe the time spent with their children as more enjoyable than their drug/living situation, they view abandoning their children for homelessness and drugs as less toxic than attempting to maintain nuclear family ties. They experience a confliction between traditional familial roles and the reality of their lives.
Chapter 7 focuses on male relationships within the community, specifically Petey and Hank's running partner relationship, and the effects of law enforcement, budget cuts, and politics on public health care and health services. Petey and Hank's close relationship formed after Scotty, Petey's former running mate, overdosed and left Petey alone. Hank and Petey formed a close bond and went through multiple happenings at the hospital together including Petey's cirrhotic liver and other health problems and Hank's cerebrospinal infection. They fought through it together and for each other though they never were able to regain stable health.
Chapter 7 also focuses on the context of these times. In the 1990's, during some of their field work, the homeless community became the target of tough on crime campaigns and actions such as evicting homeless living in 'public spaces' in San Francisco were implemented to solve the homeless problem. Advocates for homelessness, like the mayor of San Francisco, implemented plans for comprehensive services programs to get to the roots of the homeless problem but these plans were shot down by the government who found ways to justify the evictions. Other problems the homeless encountered in relation to their public health were budget cuts which allowed law enforcement to dominate the public and political discourse and spending and strip the homeless and health care administrators and professionals from beneficial resources and funding.
1. In what ways do values and actions experienced within ones childhood household affect their values and actions in the households they create as adults?
2. What kind of agreement or policy strategy could be formed between the political, economic, and social perspectives/sides of public health that would better benefit the homeless communities?
3. How are power relations structured in different types of families? What affect do they have among the members of these families?
Chapter 6 starts off talking about parents who had left their children behind because of their drug use. Most of them seem to have kids with different partners and regret leaving them behind. For the ones who wish to reconnect with their kids, it seems like several years, even decades had passed by without them having any contact with their kids. Although they regret leaving, it seems like they are prolonging the distance they have with their kids. Frank, for example, who was mentioned at the beginning of the chapter said he hadn't seen his son was about 15 years old and he still hasn't seen him, yet he wishes to reconnect with him and get his life together. Even though they want to get things together, it still seems like there is a lot of procrastination and for some it's because they are struggling to get take care of themselves, and for others it seems like they are ashamed or afraid to see their kids and that's why it's hard for them to reach out to them. The shame and fear come from not knowing how their kids think of them now and in some cases like Sal's, there's shame in what they've put their kids through and seems to be that they are afraid of owning up to it and working it out with their children.
Chapter 7 explained the concept of homosocial relationships between men. This concept is completely new to me, but from my understanding, it seems that the term is referring to men who form bonds due to harsh conditions around them. This bond could include emotional attachments and/or sex but does not necessarily mean that these men are homosexual. Actually, according to the book, most of these men don't identify as homosexual and are even "aggressively homophobic" as the book puts it. Men with these homosocial partnerships basically stick together and look out for each under whatever harsh conditions they are in. The bond forms through connecting and finding comfort in the fact that someone else is with you enduring the same stuff as you.
1. I wonder how common homosocial relationships are among females.
2. In regards to chapter 6, I wonder why it takes so long for everything to catch up with these parents who leave their kids behind. Some look back several years later and then start reflecting on things and then go into talking about wanting to reconnect with their kids. I wonder why they don't try to go back as soon as they have feelings of regret so hey can form a relationship with their kids before time divides them too far apart.
Chapter 6 discussed the relationships several members of the Edgewater Boulevard homeless had with their families. Many of the men had been absent fathers who had chosen drugs over their family. While they still reminisced about being parents and enjoyed being with their families when reconnected, they were unable to leave drugs behind. Some of the members talked regretfully about their inability to get to know their family, but their commitment to drugs was stronger. There were also men who were abusive to their children and their wives. They believed that it was their duty, as fathers, to teach their sons to be strong and respectful of both mom and dad. If they weren't, they believed that it was the mom's fault and warranted punishment. However, when these men were asked about their own childhood, they recalled having been abused as children. The men who had been abused as children were now abusive to their own. The women within the Edgewater Boulevard community who had also left their children did so because they believed that it was the only way to protect their children from the drug environment. They believed that their children would do much better if they were not with them.
1. Are there people who live in similar circumstances as the Edgewater community who still chose to raise their own children? Were these children any more likely to do drugs than those who grew up in inner cities?
2. Were there any accounts of women being abusive to their children? Based on what justification?
Chapter 7 described the relationships men had with each other among the Edgewater Boulevard homeless community. The way they took care of each other or displayed acts of affection; these relationships could be viewed as a romantic homosexual relationship. However, any sexual behavior displayed was done so to establish a hierarchy. In particular the relationship between Hank and Petey was portrayed, and through them, it was clear that individuals could not survive alone on the streets. They collected drugs together and helped each other when one was injured or sick. The chapter also followed Hank through his series of hospitalizations. While Hank was sick, the law enforcement was working on completely evicting the homeless from the streets. As such, Hank had a difficult time recovering when he didn't have a "home" readily available. Furthermore, he was unable to stay in the hospital for the full treatment period, making it difficult for him to receive proper treatment. As such, Hank was in and out of the hospital on several occasions but was unable to recover.
1. If Hank had died, for example, because of an illness that could have been treated had he been able to stay in the hospital, would the hospital bear any fault?
The chapter 6 illustrated the relationship between the homeless people and their children. In sum, their relationships to their children were racialized, but the involvement to the lives of their children was rather minimal. African-American children of the homeless people often sought some connections with their homeless parents. But white homeless people rarely had any contact with their children. Holiday seasons often brought up some family members. While African-American homeless people often had contact with their children, they did not provide any emotional or financial help to the children. Whites often had no contact with their children. The ethnographers observed that the commitment to using drugs prevented these homeless people from engaging in family. Another reason was that homeless people limited contacting their children in order to protect the children from drugs and violence. This is perhaps because homeless people also had history of violence against their family (children) when they were with their children. This lack of family interaction is, in part, created through rather socially systemic process, as the homeless people adopted the nuclear family values but were unable to achieve it because of lack of resources and socially inflicted marginalization of minorities and poor people. One thing that was interesting for me was that one of the ethnographers, Philippe, brought his 12 years old son to the field. This, in my opinion, signifies the high degree to which ethnographers were involved in the homeless community.
The chapter 7 illustrates the strong love friendship among male homeless people. The male homeless people often formed a strong emotional support among two partners. The "love relationships" between two male homeless individuals in this sense has nothing to do with physical attraction or need, however, serves an important function in homeless microcosm. According to the ethnographers, these "love relationships" seemed more like gay couple, but homeless people achieved the "love relationship" in a strong homophobic environment. The male partners form a strong mutual dependency in terms of their shelter, source of income, drug behaviors, and so on. The chapter also highlighted political disputes among the two parties, and its disappearing public space.The politics and its policies are like a pendulum and often shifting between helping marginalized population (or just simply ignoring and not really doing anything) and punishing these people. Punishing marginalized population tone was adoped in 80s and 90s, and the state used law enforcement agencies to reduce the "public space" by claiming the possessions (by the state). Now homeless people could not use these "public space" and were evicted because these "public space" were state possessions. This force eventually broke up the strong homeless community into smaller pieces because homeless people could not establish camp in one place but had to migrate from place to place. Also, the chapter highlighted the neoliberal political swing and budget cut on medical costs that led reduced medical care for those homeless people.
1 What could society or the government potentially do to reduce violence among these marginalized families?
2 Why are these family interaction racialized? And what are the causes?
3 Should hospitals do anything to treat these homeless patients? What are the alternatives or ways to treat them?
4 What can law enforcement agencies do not to harm these marginalized population?
5 Are neoliberal policies only detrimental to these people? Why or why not?
Chapter 6: Parenting
Chapter 6 was a detailed explanation of different parenting events between the mothers and fathers of the homeless community (Edgewood). I think the text did a good job at constructing how the parenting aspect of their lives deconstructed whether they were in the lives of their children. For example some of the men were too embarrassed to be around their families because of their drug addiction, some of them believe their masculinity was deemed inadequate once they could no longer provide for their families, domestic violence and child abuse or even their drug addiction prevented them from being concerned. For example Carter bumped into his son and they were suppose to meet up but Carter was too busy getting high lost track of time and also spent his bus fair on crack . Another example of attempting to assert themselves as men while instilling masculinity into their sons was Sal and his son fight. Sal was trying to teach his son to respect his mother but it turns out his son did not respect his father either. When they fought there was this tension between them and also the mother because she did not want her son to be beaten to that extent.
The mothers had a different more emotional connection to their children. Tina in my opinion was a hot mess and I felt really bad for her circumstances. I could not imagine having so many children and not being able to recognized what seems to be basic information about your own children that your produced. She could not remember their birthdates, ages, birth order only their names which is really sad. I do appreciate her attempts to have all her children well take care of by attending the foster care meeting. It made me wonder if her sister was never killed would she have resorted back to drugs?
Should there be more programs available for homeless men and women to connect with their children?
In one way some of the parents do not want to be reconnected because they are ashamed of their actions. On the other side they want to know about their children and how they are doing but they have no way to connect to them.
Why do you think violence is a key factor for disciplining their children?
Did you think it was strange that Sonny dated his step daughter and had children by her?
Do you think this is why she resorted to drug use?
Chapter 7: Male Love
This chapter focused an enormous amount of time on Petey and Hank's relationship. I found it amazing that actions that we would considered homoerotic in mainstream society the Edgewood community saw it as normal behavior. Men spooning together at night, popping pimples, and washing each other clothing was deemed as acceptable. They referred to these relationships as running partners and apparently many men engaged in these behaviors and considered themselves homophobic. In my opinion, if these relationships are true there needs to be some intervention to attempt to provide contraceptives. Also, this chapter started with a focus on male relationships but turned it into a public health issue. Hank and Petey's multiple visits to the hospital really showed that there needs to be more doctors present in these encampments. In addition there was the struggle between new government initiatives, tension between the police and Edgewood community, and media.
How can the media blow stories out of proportion and skew public opinion?
How can we convince doctors to help homeless?
Do you believe these male relationships are essential to survival?
This chapter takes a look at the overall topic of parenting. All but one of the featured addicts had children; some had multiple kids. This chapter explored the role the addicts played in their children's lives. Looking at it through a racial lens, most of the white addicts were rejected by their children, which keep the theme of whites not keeping in contact with their families while living in the Edgewater community. Although the African-Americans tended to keep in contact with their children, they were practiced inconsistent parenting. Some of the addicts felt it was better to distance themselves from their children in order to create a better life for their kids. It also touches on the topic of abuse. Abuse was often present during their childhoods and became a learned behavior.
This chapter looks at the relationships that have been formed amongst the men living in the Edgewater community, specifically between Petey and Scotty (before his death). This chapter looks at the importance of the alliances in the moral economy and the role the relationships play to maintain the hierarchy in the community. These relationships are not necessarily considered to be homosexual, but endearing. The chapter highlighted how the death of Scotty emotionally affected Petey--he was heartbroken.
1.Are the differences in familial ties between the races environmentally impacted or why are there such drastic differences between whites and African Americans?
2.Are the children of the addicts more likely to become addicts themselves?
3.Regarding the above question, does race play a part in whether or not the addicts have enough affect on their children for them to also become addicts?
Chapter 6 examines the relationships of the Edgewater homeless and their children. Many of the homeless who have kids reminisce on their time with their children before their life on the streets. However, the nature of their relationships have changed since addictions have become more prevalent. Carter told Jeff how his son had run into him at a Taco Bell parking lot earlier one day. Carter's son told him that he would return at 5, but Carter and Tina instead went to purchase crack and arrived an hour late. Many of the homeless want to reconnect with their children but their addictions have a hold over their lives. Many of the homeless also violently abused their family. They did this in order to maintain gender roles and in order to teach their sons to respect their mother and father. This created a perpetual cycle of violence. Sal recounts a fight with his son where he was encouraged by his wife to beat him, only to have his wife turn on him once she saw what was done. Sal recounts that he raised his children the way he was raised and that their outcomes in life wasn't due to the violent nature of their upbringing.
How do the Edgewater homeless justify how they raised their children?
Some of the children turned out to be successful while others resorted to crime. What was different in the upbringing of these two groups?
Chapter 7 covers the relationships between male running partners. Following the death of Scotty, Petey recounted their relationship to the researchers. Petey didn't know how to properly inject himself with heroin and relied on Scotty for help. Their relationship could have been confused as a homosexual one, although most of the homeless men were homophobic. The physical and emotional intensity of their relationship was mirrored in the relationships of other men among the Edgewater homeless as well. After Scotty's death, Hank and Petey become new running partners. In this new relationship, Hank domineers Petey and uses him to get money and drugs. Hank is often critical of Petey, and even so, Petey continues to help Hank by draining his abscesses and providing heroin when Hank has PTSD symptoms. The extent of their relationship is highlighted when Petey is hospitalized for several weeks. Both Hank and Petey acknowledge that they wouldn't survive without the other.
Are the running partner relationships between men exclusive? Do the Edgewater women also participate in these relationships as well?
For this week, I read chapters six and seven of Righteous Dopefiend. Chapter six was called "Parenting." It touched on issues such as absent fathers, mothers on drugs, and the continuation of the patriarchy. The chapter starts out with a quote from Tina, saying: "I can't take care of my children. Look at me!" It seems to be a common theme throughout not only the chapter, but also the book at large. A lot of the people in the community have children, but they either have a rocky relationship with them, they live with other relatives, or they were taken away by the state. In the section about absent fathers, Frank talks a lot about how the relationship with his children is anonymous for the most part. His son twelve-year-old son, Emilio, visits the camper to see him, but he also mentions that he doesn't even know how old his daughter is anymore. This seems to be the norm for most of the residents, but the drug-addicted mothers tend to have a more difficult time, because of the stereotypes of what it means to be a mother. Being on drugs really doesn't fit that mold, and often times has more drastic consequences.
The second chapter I read was called "Male Love." This chapter wasn't necessarily what I thought it was going to be about. It touched on the same-sex friendships between some of the people in the community, which is really important. Having allies on your side, regardless of your situation, is an important part of the human experience. The chapter also talked about health care concerns for the addicts. Because of public health cuts, they often times have a hard time finding medical care that is affordable and doesn't discriminate against their status of being homeless and addicted to, often times, various kinds of drugs. It's something I didn't really think about until reading this chapter: there is so much more to using drugs and being homeless than we usually think about. Health care is one of these issues. A lot of addicts need more frequent health care because of their exposure to harmful chemicals and toxins, as well as unclean needles and other unsanitary conditions. Add in being homeless, and there are a large variety of different medical concerns that aren't often thought about. This chapter opened my eyes to these issues.
Some questions I came up with were:
1). For those in the community who have children, how do they explain their status to their children? Do they wait for a particular age? Do they explain it as being an alternative normal way to live?
2). Do the addicts understand how they came to be in their positions well enough to be stricter or more lenient with their own children's decisions to use or not use drugs?
3). What is it like to work in emergency medicine near a community such as this one? Are there added challenges?
Chapter 6 of Righteous Dopefiend looks at the parenting lives of the Edgewater homeless. All but one of the community members had children, some of them having several. Similar to their communication with family members, most of the whites were rejected by their children while the African American parents saw their children from time to time. Almost all of the men held that physical abuse was a way to toughen up their sons, while the moms in the neighborhood took a more gentle, loving approach. Though some of the homeless had been rejected from their families, others intentionally stayed away from their kids to prevent their addictions from affecting their lives.
Chapter 7 of Righteous Dopefiend looks at the bonds between some of the males in the Edgewater community. Many of the relationships seemed contradictory, as those who seemed to participate in homosexual romances also spoke as though they were homophobic and were not necessarily considered to be gay. A large portion of the chapter focuses on the relationship between Petey and Hank who both rely on each other greatly and support each other through their medical crises. Part of the chapter is also given over to the efforts by law enforcement to get "tough on crime" and force the homeless out of their communities and the effects this has on the Edgewater homeless.
What causes the members of the Edgewater community to be more abusive to their children than the average parent?
When some of the parents avoid the children to keep them from their addictions, does it help the children or cause them to feel rejected?
How does homelessness affect the Edgewater community's view on homosexuality?
Chapter 6 titled "Parenting" from Righteous Dopefiend discusses the role that the addicts played in their children's lives. Most of the addicts had multiple children with different partners, and most of them did not play an active role in their children's lives. While some of the addicts (the African Americans in particular) had ongoing relationships with their children, they tended to be inconsistent and unreliable parents. Most of them came and went from their children's lives over the years, and more significantly they were all more committed to their drug habits than to being parents. They all reminisce about periods of time when they were more committed to parenting, but for most of them this time was short lived and their relationships with their kids disintegrated as the kids entered adulthood. During the study Carter and Sonny both initiated relationships with their kids after years of absence describing the experience as incredibly joyful and exhilarating, but both men lost touch once again when their addictions took precedence. Another theme in this chapter was abuse; most of the Edgewater homeless were abused as children (as discussed in chapter 4) and many of them recalled abusing their own children. Nickie and Tina both had children and were forced to give up responsibility when they failed to quit abusing drugs in order to be a parent. Both women considered their children better off without them, however almost all of the addicts children were either addicted to or dealing dope.
Chapter 7 discusses the intense male relationships that developed amongst the Edgewater homeless that occasionally crossed the boundary from friendship to homosexual relationship. They learned to love and care for each other in many ways that mirrored a romantic relationship but they described any sexual activity as acts of establishing dominance. Making it on the streets is nearly impossible to do alone so the "homosocial" relationships that developed were in many ways a necessity for survival. The men lived together, took care of each other when they were sick or injured, and made sure that the other did not get dopesick by providing drugs for their partner when they could not obtain them on their own. The second half of the chapter covers the complex relationship between law enforcement, health care services, and the health of the Edgewater homeless. Law enforcement were constantly confiscating clothes and clean needles, and evicting the homeless from their camps. Staying healthy is difficult when you are constantly moving around and attempting to hide your existence from law enforcement, and to make matters worse the homeless were rarely allowed to stay in the hospital for the full duration of their recovery. The men and women were stuck in a horrible cycle of being evicted, getting sick, going to the hospital, and then being sent back to the streets where they were not able to recover properly.
Some questions I had while reading these chapters were:
Were these men released early from the hospital simply because they were homeless and uninsured? Of course they could have recovered more easily and quickly if they'd had a clean and safe place to go home to, but would they allow someone with money and insurance to stay in the hospital longer? I also really found myself wondering how these men and women could discuss the consequences of the abuse that they endured as children and then admit to abusing their own kids as if it was no big deal? The effect of abuse is quite interesting in that an abused individual cannot understand the repercussions of abuse in the same logical way that a person from a healthy family can, despite the fact that they have seen it first hand.
Chapter 6: Parenting
Chapter 6 begins with discussing the relationships between the member of Edgewater Boulevard and their children. Consistently the parents have little relationship with their children. Drugs play more of an important role in their lives than relationships with their children. One example of this is Sonny where the authors state, "[His] commitment to heroin and crack prevailed over his love for his kin." Sonny choose to live in Edgewater and do drug instead of living in San Diego with his daughter. The men who live in Edgewater all continually partake in abusing their wives, girlfriends and children. When asked about why they do it they don't see it as abuse, rather they see it as a form of patriarchal values. The men would claim their wives are making their sons "sissys" and would beat them up to make them tough. Clearly it seems the drugs were manifesting in their minds to make them believe what they were doing is right. In addition the authors also talked about the impact of drugs on a mother relationship with their children. The women would take more of a parenting role compared to the men but in the end their love for drugs overcame their love for their own children. It seems that the relationships between the women and their children take more of a mental toll on them compared to the men.
1. Could it be that the women of Edgewater begin to have little relationships with their children to protect them from the drug world?
2. Is it really the drugs to blame for the lack there of a relationships between parents and children or is it a societal problem?
Chapter 7: Male Love
This chapter begins with describing the circumstances surrounding Scotty's death. Initially the people of Edgewater blamed his death on the eviction process of law enforcement making him overdose. However the people of Edgewater blamed the death on Petey so they wouldn't feel so vulnerable to the dangers of overdosing. The chapter then discussed the homosocial relationship between Scotty and Petey. Their relationship started by Scotty injecting Petey for him. Although it may seem to outside eye their relationship is sexual in nature, they build up a non-sexual romantic relationship. The relationship was spurred by the situation both of them were in. It allowed them to look out for one another and have someone to count on.
3. Is the reason why these men are unable to quit drugs because society has shamed them and taken away their will by labeling them as homosexuals?
In chapter 6 of "Righteous Dopefiend," Schonberg and Bourgois discuss the parenting roles of the heroin addicts they follow in their study. They first discuss the role of the "absent fathers," talking about how the men in the study had little to no relationships with their kids and that whites were less likely to talk about their kids. They write mostly about Carter's relationships with his kids during the section on absent fathers, and then write about Sal fighting his son when discussing the fathers abusing their sons. Schonberg and Bourgois then talk about the stigma of being a drug-addicted mother, and talk about the women's roles in their kid's lives focusing on Nickie and Tina. A lot of this chapter focuses on how the women are supposed to be loving mothers, the men are supposed to be the disciplinarians, and the kids are supposed to be very respectful of their parents in this culture.
In chapter 7, titled "Male Love," Schonberg and Bourgois talk about the male relationships between the participants of their ethnography. They write about the process of blaming others when one of the addicts die, and go over Petey's relationships with Scotty and Hank. Next, they discuss a brief history of homosexuality and homophobia in the United States and the addicts' beliefs/views on seemingly homosexual relationships between running partners. They talk about law enforcement and political actions against the homeless, especially the constant forced evacuation of addicts' sites along with policies that discouraged healthier habits like syringe exchange programs. A lot of the chapter focuses on the health issues of Hank and Petey, and Bourgois and Schonberg relate the problems with their health and their health care to the law enforcement and political policies in California.
1. Of the theories of addiction we have learned in class, which seems to apply to these addicts the best?
2. Do you think the children of the addicts more likely to become addicts themselves? Do the parents themselves influence this, or is it more the environment they are raised in (like Oakland, CA)?
3. From what we have learned in class, what would be some policies that could be implemented that would help the addicts' health?
In the readings for this week, chapter 6 in Righteous Dopefiend if focuses on the story of parents/parenting of drug addicts. In the chapter, I thought what was interesting was how the whites druggy are usually rejected by their offspring while the blacks are much more closer to theirs. I do question if this is because of the drug war that has placed the acceptance of this stigma upon the black already? It was also interesting how the two man in the interview Max, Frank, and Tina were trying to be responsible as a father or mother to their kid although they are druggies. Yet there are also stories of patriarchal abuse. An interesting thought, does the sight of "mother love" ideal put a higher weight on woman druggies than to men?
In chapter 7 "Male Love" focused on the stories of how men watch out for each other and how they form alliances in the moral economy, such as homosocial romance and domestic running partners. The reason is because as a druggy, you would want someone to talk to and to help you out when you cant get drugs. In ways where you have someone to help you when you need help such as drug withdrawl, and you can help that person when they need help as a sense of paying them back. Also the chapter expresses the strain of the political offense against homelessness, law enforcement of zero tolerance, public health budget cut, and health care without social services does put drug addicted homeless people in a difficult situation. After reading all about how the societal laws that doesn't enforce to help homelessness, it brings out the same question that I had for the war on drugs. How do you help fix homelessness when you incarcerate them by excluding them from getting help? How do you fix homelessness if you don't provide programs to get the homeless back into the right track?
Chapter 6 discusses experiences the Edgewater Homeless have had with parenting. The Whites of Edgewater report few experiences with their children due to being rejected by them. When Frank finally opens up about his children, he reveals he only has an emotional attachment to Dougie. Carter had no idea of the painful memories his daughter and her mother, but Charlotte decides to approach him and reveal that Carter is now a grandfather. He is very proud in this moment, despite his poor relationship with Charlotte. Sonny reports having an amazing experience at a Thanksgiving dinner years ago with his family. He is thrilled to be interacting with his children and grandchildren. This strengthens his relationship with his family, although it does not last too long. Sonny sells heroin out of the housing project in which he and his daughter live, but he is soon arrested. After spending several years in federal prison, Sonny can no longer see, let alone babysit, his grandchildren. Another big story is of when Sal gets into a physical fight with his son, because of his son's insubordinance towards his mother. At this point, Sal's son has already been socialized to not respect his mother, and Sal's efforts are too little, too late.
I wonder what was going through Sonny's head when he was selling heroin out of his daughter's house. Is his addiction to heroin so severe that it never even occurred to him to sell away from his family? Surely, selling out of a private residence is less risky than doing so out in public, but public housing may easily be searched and forfeited if such things are found.
Chapter 7 opens up by talking about non-sexual male love among the Edgewater Homeless. This is merely male comradery, with the added stipulations of the moral economy and being potential running buddies. Hank and Petey develop this male love after Sonny overdoses, an event which stirs up much controversy. But eventually Hank and Petey are accepted into the primary group at Edgewater. Hank's medical problems make earning money tougher and tougher for the pair. He loses the moving job he had with Andy after a serious back injury leaves him unable to perform such a job. Amongst all of these health problems, Caltrans raids continue to confiscate everyone's property, and Hank feels useless when he cannot help Petey earn money like he used to. Hank goes in and out of a hospital, diagnosed with countless medical ailments. Eventually, when Petey is hitting rock bottom, other members of the Edgewater Homeless help Petey out. This shows the strength of the moral economy. Seeing the relationship that Hank and Petey have, a thought comes to mind: Would it be possible for two women to successfully be running buddies in an unforgiving environment such as Edgewater Boulevard? Are women more prone to being victims in this setting, or might there more likely be a man around to help them out, due to the lower number of female addicts on the street?
Chapter 6 of Righteous Dopefiend details the relationships the Edgewater homeless had with their children. Both the white and black men had been absent from their children's lives, but each recounts their relationships differently. The whites were often rejected by their children, while the blacks' children attempted to remain contact. Many of the homeless inflicted physical abuse among their children, wives, or girlfriends, and therefore felt that staying on the street was the best way protect their families. Some considered their abuse as their role as a father, to maintain hierarchy. Often times abuse was present throughout their childhoods and was ultimately a learned behavior. Similarly, the Edgewater homeless women spoke fondly of their children though they were unable to maintain a relationship with them because their addiction had taken precedent.
Chapter 7 of Righteous Dopefiend details the relationships that were formed amongst the Edgewater homeless men. This chapter focused primarily on the relationships between Petey and Scotty before Scotty's death, and Petey and Hank, which developed soon after. Petey and Hank had a homosocial relationship which was theorized to be a way in which they maintained "natural" hierarchal relationships. Hank had the money and power in the relationship but was very generous towards Petey. An onlooker may view Hank and Petey's relationship as a homosexual one, though they did not view their relationship as such. This chapter also explains the impact that law enforcement and the "zero tolerance" policy has had on the relationships of these men.
1) Why do you think there is a difference between the relationships the blacks and whites have with their children?
2) Why do the Edgewater homeless view Hank and Petey's relationship as not being homosexual?
3) What would be a better approach for law enforcement to take to have a more positive impact on homeless addicts?
In Chapter 6, Bourgois and Schonberg examined the role of parenting among the Edgewater homeless people. There was a distinct difference among the ethnic family patterns. Among the whites their children often neglected them and among the blacks their children often sought contact with their parents. There was also a distinct difference among men and women. The men did not support their children financially or emotionally and chose drugs over their children. The men also abused their children, wives, and girlfriends and refuse to acknowledge it as violent behavior. They interpreted it as "rectifying inappropriate gender roles," (p.192). For the women, they were often looked down upon for neglecting their children for drugs. However, the women showed more motherly-love to their children than the men did.
In Chapter 7, Bourgois and Schonberg examined the role male love. Although some of the participants in their study revealed homosexual behavior the acts themselves were completely nonhomsexual. When Petey was hospitalized more African American men paid a visit to him than the whites. This example highlights the importance of kinship among the African American culture that is not apparent in the white culture. Another point that was brought up in this chapter was that policies are changing for social services and medical care. This makes it harder for these homeless people to receive treatment.
1) Do you think the patriarchal ideal of mistreating women is something that is stemmed out of social class to reassert their masculinity?
2) In relation to the first question, how is the role of male love contributing to their assertion of their masculinity?
3) Do you think the law enforcement is dominating the public spending and political discourse out of the context of the local level as well? Why or why not?
Righteous Dopefiend-Chapter 6
In Chapter 6 of Righteous Dopefiend, the authors talk about the relationships and the level of reciprocity between the homeless drug addicts, and their children. The chapter is more about the connectedness or lack of it between the parents and the children,and the authors have observed that there are many reasons for these relationships are for the most part,strangled and weak. The main reason for why these addicts abandon their children and subordinate their responsibilities towards them, is the persistent use of crack and heroine,which they prioritized over their families. But there is duality in the behaviors of the men and women, in terms of their parenting skills.While both men and women neglected their children for the most part, they were also sympathetic,tender and loving in talking about them on rare occasions. With the males,and their roles as fathers, they had been absent for a majority of time from their children's youth and childhood, due to either being separated by being incarcerated, or being homeless and economically disadvantaged, to support the needs of their children.They were also highly patriarchal in their mindset,trying to exert their dominance on their children and wife/girlfriend,by being violent towards them,to establish social order in the family and a display of their masculinity. The mothers lacked connection with their children as well,but compared to the men, were much more emotionally involved. The society at large,condemned their absence from their children's growing years. All these behaviors were the result of the prevailing negative predicaments the addicts faced in their lives.
Righteous Dopefiend-Chapter 7
There is a certain quality of romance,that is not necessarily sexual, in the heterosexual relationship between men.In chapter 7, the authors try to describe some of the characteristics of these relationships between men, and how they behaved accordingly.The authors the relationship between Petey and Scotty, and then Petey and Hank to illustrate the point. These relationships are not necessarily considered "gay", rather they are endearing, were considered normal, and any male deaths,impacted other males quite hard, because of the bonds they had. Case in point, the death of Scotty,impacted Petey quite hard and he was heartbroken. Both of them had mutual affection for each other, and Scotty had introduced Petey to heroin. These relationships were not condemned on the spite of being considered homophobic. The authors use the theorist Foucault,to indicate that these behaviors were not considered as "taboo" due to natural reasons,but male sex and romance came to be known as perversive, with the emerging rise of biopower in the nineteenth century. The authors also indicate that the cutbacks in medical health care and increased "zero tolerance" policies,impacted the relationships of these men, as they frequently required emergency medical care,through their illnesses and ailments. It did not help the homeless in being evicted from areas of shelter,such as the Caltrains, to not getting adequate health care in times of need. These relationships,therefore,were tested by the social environment around them.
1) How did the media portray the violence shown by mothers towards their abandoned children?
2)Were there any differences in emotional bonding between the affection between two heterosexual men and the affection between two homosexual men? How did death in either case affect them?
3)Was the violence shown by fathers towards their children only the result of harsh suffering in their own childhoods, or was it more of an ego and pride problem?
Righteous Dopefiend Chapter 6:
In chapter 6, the author focuses on parenthood from both male and female perspectives. I believe that both experiences are very stereotypical where woman tend to show more love and care for their children while men tend to raise them to be tough and respectful. When you throw in the fact that these parents are dopefiends, the males tends to blame mothers, saying that they are unworthy because they do drugs and are homeless. The mothers themselves feel the need to punish themselves when they fail to live up to their own expectations of raising their children. Most parents really love their children, showing hope in one day being able to be with their children.
Righteous Dopefiend Chapter 7:
Chapter 7 dwells deeper into the relationships and bonds that the Edgewater dopefiends have. The longer that they get to know one another, a bond starts to develop. Eventually, this leads to them having each other's backs and caring for one another. When/ if one of them dies due to drugs, they tend to blame the drug dealers. This chapter also focuses more specifically on male love. Sexes between males are not seen as gay, it is seen more as a strong bond that the individuals have for each other.
How do homeless adults receive treatment? Can the males' sexual relationships be a reason why they cannot quit drugs and attempt to live with their children? (Having lost a sense of pride, or being ashamed) Do females behave in a similar manner?
In chapter nine, "Treatment" Phillipe Bourgois and Jeff Schonberg detail the difficulties the Edgewater Boulevard homeless have accessing and successfully completing drug treatment. While it was noted by the authors that all of the addicts on Edgewater Boulevard wished "to go clean" and many entered programs once or more, few ever successfully completed the programs, much less stayed sober. Tina was used as an example because she made such a huge fuss about going to treatment. She got high and got dressed up and eventually made it to treatment with Jeff's help but relapsed as soon as she was released. Carter too was an example of short-lasting sobriety except, he stayed clean longer than Tina before he choked on his own vomit while fixing. This chapter described the shortcomings of treatment that are provided to homeless addicts.
In the conclusion of Righteous Dopefiend, Bourgois and Schonberg described the many shortcomings of the United States in providing for homeless addicts. They criticized the lack of "harm reduction", treatment, tolerance, and support in the War on Drugs in the United States. They also criticized the basic principles that the United States was founded upon, responsibility and the pursuit of wealth.
Personally, I understand the problems that the homeless face and I find it very sad. I am a psychology student and have focused a lot on the mentally ill homeless population in the United States. I see resources being diverted from treatment of their very real, not self-inflicted problems towards treatment, methadone, medical bills, etc. that were described in this book and I feel sick. Especially sick after I read the condemnation of the United States social net by the authors. I believe that addiction is a large problem in the United States and we could do more as a country to combat it but to require no responsibility on the part of these addicts, as the authors do, disgusts me.
1. Do Bourgois and Schonberg believe that the homeless addicts should take any responsibility?
2. Do Bourgois and Schonberg really believe more resources should be funneled towards treatment of the self-mutilation injuries at the hospital while others seek treatment for accidents and disease?
3. In the ten years that they observed the Edgewater Boulevard homeless, did the authors ever witness any of the addicts get straight and become functioning and contributing members of society?
In chapter six "Parenting", Phillipe Bourgois and Jeff Schonberg discussed the parenting styles and their accompanying cycles of violence that occurred amongst the population along Edgewater Boulevard and their families. Most of the population under the I-beam had been the victims of abuse and neglect during their childhoods and all of them perpetuated the cycle with their own sets of children. Bourgois and Schonberg noticed racial differences in family relations and parenting styles amongst the group. White people tended to remain distant from their children and viewed their contributions to their children's lives with embarrassment. On the other hand, blacks tended to remain peripherally in their children's lives only occasionally adding patriarchal abuse. Overall, the Edgewater Boulevard homeless population (with the exception of Hank) were fertile people that tended only to add violence to their children's lives.
In chapter seven "Male Love", Phillipe Bourgois and Jeff Schonberg discussed the relations between men under the I-beam. They started off stating that only recently has sex between two men been considered homosexual and that it used to be common practice. They used this knowledge to explain the relationship between Hank and Petey. In Hank and Petey's relationship, sex was used as a form of power with Petey subordinate to Hank. The homeless along Edgewater Boulevard accepted this behavior on the basis of power while scoffed at its homosexual implications. The chapter then delved into the health problems of Hank and Petey.
1. Was Hank sterile or careful?
2. Would the authors have felt differently about the police actions had the homeless encampment been near their homes?
3. How much money is spent annually on treating the health problems of homeless addicts?
Many of the participants in this ethnography have children but most of them never see or have any contact with their children. Not have contact or being involved in the lives of their children is a common occurrence in many families across the US. Drugs play a big role in the fact that these parents aren't present for their children. How many of these children expect to see change in their missing parents when they know they are drug abusers? The children as they grow older see what their missing parent has been done with their lives and often do not want to be a part of it. There are some children who have compassion for their children and would like to get to know their absent parents like Charlotte. She makes an attempt to meet her father Carter and have her children know that they have a grandfather.(pg 188) The unfortunate thing is that even though these parents want to change their drug habit, they still fall short of follow through. We see Carter struggle to get to see his son Jr. because he is shooting up. They spend all their bus money and have to hike back to meet his son and his son isn't there because he is an hour late.(pg 188) This is where we see the drugs really really affecting relationships. These children continue to see that their parents fail them and that they have too much clouding their vision. Why do these children continue to look for their parents, when they know they will be disappointed? Some of these people talk about the abuse that they have dealt with in their past. The abuse they suffered has also affected them with their kids and they are seen abusing their children. If these kids are abused why do they look to their parents for compassion?
In Chapter 7 we read about the relationships and bonds that these Edgewater homeless have. When these men and women are in close proximity to one another for many years they grow bonds and have each others back. The relationships that we read about are interesting on how people judge them. Some of the men do not consider themselves "gay" but are ok with having homosexual relations whether it is for dominance or comfort. Unfortunately when these people become close, they are deeply affected by death or injury or overdoses of their fellow people. Blame starts to play a roll in the deaths or overdoses of the homeless, most of the blame is put on crack dealers or the government. When drug abusers are heavy into their drugs and life goes wrong for them, they dont see that it is their drug that is the problem, it is someone else's. The public targeting of the homeless and where they live is sad.(pg 219) Is it right to do this to the homeless? It is such a hard thing to try and decide what the government is doing right and what they are doing wrong. There are not enough homeless shelters in most cities to facilitate all of the homeless people. At times their only option is to live out on the street and with the destruction of homeless areas, these people are humiliated and have no where to go. Why can't we have better options for homeless individuals? Even if these people are not causing harm to others and trying to stay in certain areas then who are we to say that they can't take up shelter there temporarily?
In this series of chapters in Righteous Dopefiend we gain incredible insight on the unique maintenance of relationships both inside and outside of the Edgewater Boulevard community. In Chapter 6, the ethnography discusses the struggle of parenthood as a dopefiend. We learn about the similarities and differences between fathers and mothers relationship with their children. The study shows that mothers maintained the ideas that they are supposed to be the protective, nurturing, and self-sacrificing and punished themselves when they could not live up to that role. Fathers typically aimed to "harden" their sons, teach them to show respect, and frequently accused women who though drugs and homelessness became "unworthy" mothers despite their own drug addiction and homelessness.
On the occasion that Edgewater addicts were able to see their children, men typically took a more masculine role, ensuring that their children respect them and their mothers and sometimes even resorting to abuse to show the children where they stand in the relationship. When mothers got a chance to see their children, they would excessively show their love for their children and frequently obtained help from them. Tina expressed her desire to see her children and raise and love them but showed remorse as she discussed her inability to be willing to show her children her lifestyle.
According to the study, both sexes loved their children unconditionally and spoke of them with great pride. Additionally, with the exception of a couple Edgewater residents, family ties were very important to the community. Many of them rely on the hope of reuniting with their children in the future. However, the main problem stopping them from this was their love affair with drugs. They continuously submitted to drugs over seeing and building ties with their families.
In Chapter 7, we discover the dynamics of relationships between men in the Edgewater community. Despite the strong negative feelings toward homosexuality, men frequently entered into relationships that resembled a homosexual relationship. They would defend these relationships as a partnership/friendship that was strong and trusting to take care of eachother. The ethnography illustrates Petey's necessity of a partner to shoot him up and take care of him. He initially enters the drug scene through Scotty who helps him use but later dies in Petey's arms from an overdose during the evictions. After the death of Scotty, helpless, Petey develops a relationship with Hank. Hank maintains dominance in the relationship using Petey's lack of knowledge on how to shoot up as a way to order Petey around. Hank has Petey panhandling and working for money. Once Petey collects enough money, he brings it straight back to Hank instead of using it himself. According to other homeless people in Edgewater, Hank even demonstrates dominance early on in their relationship through sex. Despite the inequality of the relationship, we come to understand that relationships like this are accepted on both sides because of the need to take care of each other and have an ally as such. We discover the true love they have for one another during their episodes in the hospital.
Through reading these chapters, I raise some questions about the culture of Edgewater and the lifestyle these homeless addicts live. With the governments constant attempt at removing the homeless from their areas, what do they think they are achieving? Isn't it a waste of money to continue to evict them when they just move to the next area? Why not just enforce the public health proposition and provide the homeless community with supplies to clean their surroundings once or twice a month? Additionally, are there any studies from the drug addicts' childrens' point of view of their parents' situations? Perhaps if we study both sides of the relationship we could further understand how they could help eachother. Finally, why is it that there is typically only two people involved in a running partnership? Is there a risk of having more than two?
Murphy and Rosenbaum's article "Two Woman Who Used Cocaine Too Much" illustrates the importance that social class, gender, and race play in the context of drug use. They describe two young females' patterns and consequences of crack and cocaine use, however, the stories are very different due to the differences of their lifestyles and upbringings. Monique is described as an underclass, African American living in the projects of San Francisco and Becky is a middle-class, white female who, at the time of her drug use, was living in her mother's four bedroom house in a nicer part of San Francisco. Their initiation into drug use was not so different-they were both introduced to cocaine at age 14-15 through friends but Monique's continued experience with the drug was largely shaped by her poverty, race, and gender.
Monique's experience with cocaine led her to smoking crack and when resources were scarce she was exploited into a position where men were able to exercise their power over the crack and manipulate her into performing sexual activities in order to score another rock. Living in the projects, crack was readily available as long as one was willing to do what it took to get it, and the craving that Monique had for it and her lack of economic resources placed her in the position to do what it took. Becky, on the other hand, had the privilege to not have to compromise her body in order to afford a bag of cocaine. Their life after using also differed substantially. Monique, once done smoking crack, was living in a homeless shelter because even after being done with drug use she had limited opportunities in creating a more conventional lifestyle for herself. Becky was fortunate in being able to keep her drug use private from her family and therefor having support from them when she decided to stop using. This shows the consequences that limited resources, gender, and race have in the context of drugs.
In Chapter 3 of "Righteous Dopefiend" the authors describe the integrated, yet very separate, community that the men of Edgewater live in. There is constant cooperation between the men in purchasing bags and further establishing networks of companionship between each other. They seem to have an unwritten code of never leaving a man behind who is legitimately sick in an effort to not lose a friend. They all try to have each other's back when necessary. Chapter 3 also describes the ethnic differences between the men in many aspects such as methods of drug use, fashion, and sexuality. For example, the "techniques of the body" differ between the African Americans and the White men-the former enjoying dabbling with crack and heroin and only doing so intravenously and the latter primarily only interested in heroin and preferring to skin-pop rather than sit around for 30 minutes to try and find a vein. Chapter 3 also paints a graphic picture of the pain and hospital trips that take place when things go wrong or their abscesses need attention....
1. What connections are there between the importance of race in the Edgewater community and Murphy and Rosenbaum's article?
2. What better methods of harm reduction could be implemented to help the men of Edgewater?
3. What roles do power relations play in drug use?
"Social Context and 'Natural Recovery': The Role of Social Capital in the Resolution of Drug- Associated Problems," by Robert Granfield and William Cloud presents evidence from a study conducted on 46 former addicts and uncovers some interesting data. The 46 individuals were former alcoholics and drug abusers that have treated their own addictions without any outside help or counseling. This method is referred to as 'natural recovery.' The authors argue that 'natural recovery' isn't exactly natural. Social capital has a vital role in the recovery of addicts that claim 'natural recovery'. Granfield and Cloud come to several conclusions. One of their conclusions is, "Individuals who possess life options and resources because of their social position tend to have a greater capacity for getting out of trouble with drugs." The composition of the research group was mostly white working to middle class males. Most research subjects had stable incomes and family lives in spite of their drug and alcohol use. This leads to Granfield and Cloud's next conclusion, "...peoples' ability to become immersed in conventional life and develop meaningful social relations is influenced by the pre-existing social capital they bring with them into their addiction as well as the amount of social capital they are able to retain through these dependencies." The authors claim this social capital significantly aided the addicts in their natural recovery.
Chapter three in Righteous Dopefiend by Philippe Burgois and Jeff Schonberg details the racial divides in the methods of using drugs. For example, amongst the white community, there is a feeling of supremacy over the black drug users because they use heroin versus crack and use a syringe to administer the drug. They consider themselves true drug users. Chapter three also paints the divide between blacks and whites more clearly when highlighting differences in emergency room tendencies and hygiene. Whites are more likely to visit the ER and according to the interviewees, they tended to be less clean and less interest in their physical presentation. This chapter also highlighted a lot of dialogue between the authors and the main "characters" concerning the struggles and complications that come with living on the street. Many of them experienced health issues with abscesses and the chapter shed a light on the health industry as well as law enforcement and their role in treating drug abuse.
Questions: The current methods for controlling homeless populations through law enforcement has not proven to be effective in Righteous Dopefiend and in the film The House I Live In and in other research, what is the reasoning stated by city governments for continuing these methods? Why did the study in "Social Context and 'Natural Recovery': The Role of Social Capital in the Resolution of Drug- Associated Problems," not attempt to include a more varied research group? Beyond social capital, what other factors help in 'natural recovery'?
Chapter four of Righteous Dopefiend goes into detail of the childhood lives of many of the characters in this ethnography. This chapter surprised me in many ways. The first was how different everyone's path was to addiction and the eventual homelessness that it perpetuates. I was expecting most of the stories to be similar to Hank's where they come from a home with an abusive father and all the children have severe mental issues leading to their eventual addiction. However, Hank's story was an isolated case of this. Many of the individuals came from loving, caring families. Many of these families still cared for and loved them as was seen in the African-American homeless on Edgewater Boulevard. Carter's mom still let him come home every once in a while and she would cook him meals and take good care of him. They still had a very loving relationship. The white homeless, however, experienced stark contrast to their current home life situations (a recurring theme throughout the book is the differences between black and white homeless). Many individuals like Frank came from a home with a nuclear family, where everyone else in the family was doing alright, except for Frank. Frank even was a point of having hundreds of thousands of dollars from selling dope to prominent bands such as Jefferson Airplane. However, it surprise me how fast he spiraled out of control into intense addiction and eventually homelessness. This is another lesson I seem to learn very frequently is that you can't categorize individuals by judging their appearances. Everyone has a different story and everyone is very unique. This leaves me with the question though as almost everyone does judge and label. Would labeling theory apply to the current cycle of addiction plaguing the Edgewater homeless? If not, what theory do you believe best applies to these homeless? or again is one theory better suited for an individual, such as dislocation theory of addiction with Frank, than it would be for someone else?
Chapter 5 of Righteous Dopefiend goes into detail about how these individuals obtain work and legitimate or illegitimate incomes. What didn't surprise me and as this chapter shows stable work of more than a year did not happen for most of the individuals on Edgewater Boulevard. Work was either seasonal or choppy with many of these individuals being fired from several off the records type of labor. What interested me is how much some employers were able to put up with these individuals addictions. It may me wonder were these employers doing it for altruistic reasons or for their own extrinsic reasons of cheap labor and saving money, or a level of both? Many of the laborers even paid for their heroin each day, so if we could regulate this through government where heroin addicts could come into work each day get heroin through clean, legitimate sources they could work and pay taxes. These heroin addicts while working could also slowly be weened off heroin everyday while coming to work. Do you believe this would promote self-efficacy among the heroin addicts to make other improvements within their lives? How would you feel if a program like this was implemented? Do you believe this would have a better impact on the economy, due to more individuals paying taxes and sucking less resources from the government (healthcare, crime, etc.)?
This chapter focuses mainly on the heroin usage that surrounds the Edgewater community and how it effects each of the "characters." It is clear in this chapter that the disease of addiction overrides the diseases the users could contract by sharing needles, and the dangers of unsterilized needles. It also brought focus back to race and how different racial groups tended to inject their drug of choice. The focus of the moral economy system was an especially interesting section of this chapter, as it shows a different side to drug addiction than some people see.
This chapter focuses on the family relationships each individual drug user has and their individual experiences growing up. The users relationship to their family differs from person to person; some still had a relationship with their families, while others were completely cut off. Once again the subject matter was tied back to race, and it consistently showed that African American and Latino users still had familial ties, while white users were completely cut off. I find it fascinating that race is a factor in this as well. This chapter also focused on the time period the users grew up in, which played a factor in how they all call Edgewater home now.
1. How has harm reduction campaigns effected the usage of dirty needles?
2. Is there a way to take the power relations that come along with drug use and make them into something positive and productive?
3. Why do African Americans tend to stay connected with their families more than white users?
<strong>The Two Women Who Used Cocaine Too Much
The Two Women Who Used Too Much Cocaine was a case study that interviewed to women and their abuse of cocaine. The case study examined the relationship between race, class, and gender. "Monique" and Becky started using alcohol and marijuana around the same age and started using cocaine around the same age. Each of the women experienced two totally different lifestyles while abusing the substance. Monique is a minority that experienced sexual abuse while using the substance because one she could no longer afford her habit and exchanged sex for attaining cocaine, two the drugs in Monique's community were readily available because the economic constraints in the community, and three Monique's family background was impoverished and lastly because the lack of privacy and high poverty witnessed in the urban area resulted in Monique being arrested. Becky on the other hand lived a nice middle class life. She was able to afford her habit because she was able to find employment based on her connections, her parents were affluent meaning they had both attended higher education and had adequate incomes, when Becky wanted to stop using she moved to another state with her father.
1. The case study examined race, class, and gender and the power relationship between men and women. Do you think that this case study was too extreme in examining the relationship of race, class, and gender?
2. Do you think the drugs influence the neighborhood or the neighborhood influences the type of drugs and the form of drugs that will be sold in a community? (Middle class has powder cocaine and low class has cocaine in crack form?
3. Based on this reading is it what you know or who you know?
Chapter three opens with a user, Felix identifying his struggle of having a drug sickness. What I found interesting is when Frank and Carter are describing the differences in the type of sickness that crack users have versus those of a heroin user. They describe crack sickness as more mental than heroin use which is more physical. I think I would prefer the physical sickness than the mental sickness but let's hope that never happens. This chapter was very interesting, especially the moral economy section. It talked about heroin users sharing which is cool to think about because rich people do not like to share unless they are forced to. Also the since of power that the users felt when exaggerating stories about the amount they can use at a given time.
1. Do you think rich people have something to learn from drug users on the lower soci-economic scale?
2. If everyone made the same wages do you think drug use numbers would remain the same?
3. Why do you think there is an existing power relationship with drug users?
The third chapter of Righteous Dopefiend focuses on the heroin usage of the Edgewater homeless and the effects it has on the users. While they all seemed to be aware of the dangers with sharing their needles and knew about all the safety precautions, the need to rid of the withdrawal symptoms always overrode the dangers of needle sharing. They also used water to clean them instead of bleach, which still seemed to prevent the spread of disease despite warnings from others. It also explored the different racial injection techniques. While the white users frequently "skin-popped" as a quicker fix, the African Americans rarely used this tactic and would search for a long time to find a vein and get the rush of pleasure.
The fourth chapter of Righteous Dopefiend gets into the familial relations of the homeless. Most of the whites in the book rarely associated with their families anymore. In contrast, the African Americans in the book frequently spent holidays and other events with their families and kept in touch with them regularly. While some of the people in the book seemed to have rough relationships with their family, they seem to take responsibility for their actions and don't blame their parents for their situation.
1. Why do the injection techniques tend to differ depending on race?
2. Why are the black users more connected to their families while the white users are rejected from their families?
3. What led to certain members of a family becoming users, while their siblings stayed clean?
In Granfield and Cloud's article they discuss how social capital, which is the benefits that an individual accrues from their personal contacts and associations that surround them, helps people recover from an addiction. Also, they talk about a study with multiple addicts who had a "natural recovery" which means they did not use a 12 step program or any other rehabilitation treatment. Their study consisted of 46 individuals who were formerly alcoholics or were drug-dependent. These people had individuals in their lives that would not give up on them and supported them through the rough times in which they went through. These addicts also had pretty stable middle class lives which allowed them to benefit from their social capital. Stability and maintaining their relationships played a large role in these addict's recoveries. I found this article extremely interesting and profound.
In Murphy and Rosenbaum's chapter called Two Women Who Used Cocaine Too Much interviews "Monique" who comes from a lower class African-American family and lives in public housing and "Becky" who comes from a white middle class family and lives in her mother's home. Both of these girls were in their late teens and Monique was smoking crack while Becky was snorting cocaine. The authors discuss the consequences that come with crack and cocaine and how they differ. Monique was prostituting and losing everything in her life, but Becky kept her job, friends, and was even in private school. Class, race, and gender all played a part in how these girls moved forward in their lives.
How come Granfield and Cloud did not do more research in finding addicts of a lower class?
Do you think a person who lives in poverty, but has some social capital could have a natural recovery?
Do you think the majority of society looks at addicts from lower classes as lost causes so there is no point in caring?
This article tells the stories of two different women who are both cocaine users. What's interesting about these stories is that both women, although close in age, are very different types of cocaine users and have very different consequences from using cocaine. "Monique" is a young lower-class black women living in some housing projects, and "Becky," is a young middle-class white women living in a 4 bedroom house with her mom. The authors are trying to show that class, race, and gender have an effect on the type of consequences cocaine users experience. They say that women can get a hold of cocaine easier by manipulating power relationships with male dealers and that class and race help determine the type of cocaine that is accessible. It doesn't seem that the authors feel that race determines consequences, but it has a part in determining the cocaine obtainable which has an effect on the consequences they experience. Middle-class women have more of an advantage because they have more obstacles to work through before they "hit bottom" than lower-class women who not only have less holding them back, but they have less help in staying on track as well. "Monique's" drug-use increased after she had lost her job and "Becky's" increased at work as she would do it with fellow coworkers. Both of their drug use was influenced because their cocaine use was considered "cool" and they didn't experience negative effects at first. "Monique" had less crack connections and she had to do more for her dealers to get what she wanted, whereas "Becky" had many connections and didn't have to exchange favors to get cocaine.
1. In "Monique's" case, it seems that a lack in productivity (loss of a job) contributed to increasing drug-use. For "Becky," it seems that social environment contributed to increasing drug-use.
2. I wonder what the results would be in a study that examined similar types of women who denied offers to use cocaine and what lead to them swing no to trying cocaine.
3. I wonder what factors actually motivated "Monique" to quit using even though things didn't seem to look up for her.
Chapter 3, "A Community of Addicted Bodies," traces how physical and emotional dependence on heroin creates a morally bounded social network of addicts. In line with the concept of moral economy established in the past two chapters, addicts are in constant flight from withdrawal symptoms. Because the Edgewater Homeless have all experienced dopesickness, they are willing to do favors for their peers--i.e. share heroin--with the expectation that the act of kindness will be reciprocated when they are next in need of a fix. Bourgois and Schoenberg examine how the bodies of the homeless display race and social marginalization, and how these characteristics lead to conflict among the homeless. This chapter also addresses public health and emergency hospital services, showing how status as a homeless drug user often leads to unethical medical practices, such as refusing to administer anesthesia to addicts for painful procedures or delaying their care in the ER. Finally, Bourgois and Schoenberg describe the chronic physical pain and emotional distress the Edgewater Homeless endure on a daily basis, from constant hunger and unsanitary conditions to the very real threat of violence from other addicts or the police.
Chapter 4, "Childhoods," explores the various backgrounds of the Edgewater Homeless, including the extent (or lack) of familial ties. Some of the homeless maintain relationships with parents and siblings while others have been completely cut off and have no idea where their families are. Interestingly, the nature of kinship relations is consistent within races--that is, for the most part, African-American and Latino homeless still maintained contact with their families, while white the homeless were largely ostracized by their family members. This chapter also places the childhoods of the Edgewater Homeless in historical context: They all grew up in working class San Francisco neighborhoods during the 1960s-70s and were highly influenced by the counterculture that found a home there.
1. HIV education campaigns clearly aren't that effective in convincing users to change their risky injection behaviors. Have other harm reduction methods been proposed?
2. If so, is their lack of presence in the realm of public health due to the government favoring abstinence policies?
3. What history of social behaviors associated with certain races could be contributing to the fact that African-American and Latino homeless were more involved and accepted by their families than their white counterparts?
In Two Women Who Used Cocaine Too Much, Murphy and Rosenbaum analyzed the different experiences and consequences of cocaine usage for two women based on their class, race, and gender. The first woman they studied was an African American woman from a lower class background named Monique. The other woman is white from a middle class background named Becky. There were three differences noted about these two women. For one, crack cocaine is associated with people in the lower class and powder cocaine was used prominently by the upper class. Secondly, due to limited resources Monique often resorted to selling herself for drugs because men hold more power in her situation. Becky on the other hand has resources available such as money and connections with multiple sellers. Lastly, Monique came from background where she was easily caught for using drugs. However, Becky did not get caught as easily because she was able to conceal her drug use. Based on these differences women from underclass backgrounds will face more consequences than women from middle class backgrounds.
In Chapter 3: A Community of Addicted Bodies, Bourgois and Schonberg also presented differences among black and white men from Edgewater Boulevard. Patriarchal power was often the issue. Black men appeared to be more sexualized, have more street power, and are less likely to seek medical attention. White men on the other hand were the complete opposite. They were less sexualized, have less street power, and were more likely to seek medical attention. This chapter also looked at the unsuccessful public health outreach approach of harm reduction. It was seen as unsuccessful because the program targeted middle-class people; a social class in which none of these homeless people belong to. Another reason why it was unsuccessful is because it shamed the people more so than helping them.
(1) Which one of these factors appears to be more problematic: race, class, or gender?
(2) Do you believe harm reduction will be more successful if the program sought to help the lower-class people instead of shaming them? Why or why not?
(3) If Murphy and Rosenbaum examined a white woman from an underclass background like Monique do you think they will have a different result to their study?
Chapter 3 talks about the moral economy of drug users. Many homeless drug addicts tend to find themselves living in little communities of people that they relate to in drug use. These communities can be very close socially, they may even consider some of the group members their friends. They look out for each other, even if sometimes its only because they know it will benefit them later on. It is very common for these addicts to share some of their drugs with certain, trusted group members because they know that later on when they can't find enough money and start showing symptoms of withdrawals that person will hopefully be there to pay them back.
Can you consider people in these communities "friends". After all, we are lead to believe in society that "friends don't let friends do drugs".
Chapter 4 is a bit different so far because it goes into the addicts childhood taking a look at the different family structures. I think it is very interesting that there are such huge differences among racial culture. This chapter talked about how in the african american community when one of their family members get into drugs they still associate with them. This could be because in lower income neighborhoods (with high african american populations) there is a high involvement with gangs and violence making drugs just part of the norm in that society. But when a middle class caucasian person gets into drugs the families tend to disown them. Probably because it isn't in the norm for them and they feel like its not something that should be happening.
When it comes to white families that live in poor neighborhoods with their children growing up in gangs, do the majority of families still disown their kid or does the culture outweigh the racial statistics?
"Two Women Who Used Cocaine Too Much," argues that demographic factors such as race, gender and class effect experiences with cocaine use more than the drug itself. It exemplifies this point through the perspectives of Becky and Monique, two cocaine users in their late teens. It is said that gender is a key aspect because women generally get their drugs from men, who are more likely to be selling. And the poor generally live in areas where it is easier to have access to more drugs. And racial minorities generally live in those areas too. They describe Monique's troubled past as she grew up in a single parent household and getting into trouble at an early age. Becky went to a private Catholic school, and surprisingly started smoking marijuana before Monique. Becky and Monique had very different experience with cocaine. Monique had very little money and often had sex with men for crack. Becky on the other hand socially used cocaine with her friends. In other words, Becky was a part of a "social scene". "Social Context and Natural Recovery" analyzes the social capital that these addicts possessed before and after their recovery without treatment. It was found that many with criminal backgrounds were more unable to recover without treatment. The article goes on to discuss how "approach methods" of recovery work very well. Users were able to stop their drug use with their desire to preserve social relationships, employment, etc. I found their experiment really interesting. It was really fascinating to learn the relationship between addiction/recovery and social capital.
1. Do these factors relate to all drug use? Or was their a particular reason cocaine was chosen?
2. Would the fact that both Becky and Monique were exposed to alcohol and weed early on in their life make them more likely to use cocaine?
3. Why would a criminal background make it more likely for one not to be able to recover without treatment?
'Two women who use cocaine too much" tell us the story of two young woman who have the unfortunate problem of being addicted to Cocaine. The first girl is Becky, a middle class caucasian. And the second, Monique, a lower class african american. While both girls share the problem of being addicted to cocaine, their stories are completely different. It starts with the drug itself. Like statistics show, Becky uses powder cocaine, like many other middle and upper class folks, while Monique uses crack cocaine, like is popular in lower class neighborhoods and like you hear about it african american rap music. It gets more personal when Murphy and Rosenbaum take a deeper look into their lives. Becky is able to hide her addiction behind her families wealth. She doesn't need to go out and sell her body to afford the drugs she craves unlike Monique. Becky still gets her comfortable life style and when off drugs has easier access to obtaining a job. Monique on the other hand ends up homeless and selling her body causing her more pain and anguish. It's interesting to see the differences between cultures, even though the drug is the same.
If Becky was all of a sudden thrown into the same situation as Monique, do you think she would have a harder time emotionally than Monique?
In 'Social context and natural recovery' Robert Granfield and William Cloud talk about the different reasons people quit and how people can be prone to quitting cold turkey. This reading actually interested me more than a lot of the other ones just because of the differing reasons behind quitting. They state that when a person has more to lose in life they have a higher chance of quitting their addiction, which makes sense. If a person is on the verge of losing their house, family or their job they have more incentive to quit than the person who already has nothing. The two oriented reasonings behind quitting cold turkey were, as Granfield and Cloud called them, avoidance oriented and approach oriented. Avoidance oriented means that a person will quit after having a negative experience around their addiction. I took one example of this to be a "bad trip". I have heard of people who try a drug and they have such a bad experience they never want to do it again. I imagine its something along those lines. The other one, approach-oriented, means different, important things in their life makes them want to change, whether it be their family or their job.
Which approach statistically is a higher motivator?
Is "having more to lose" than someone else really a factor when the end result is they could both lose the most important thing of all, their life?
The Granfield and Cloud article discussed the importance of social capital in helping drug or alcohol users achieve natural recovery. In this article, social capital was defined as the resources and benefits available to an individual as a result of personal contacts and relationships. Natural recovery was defined as recovering from drugs and/or alcohol use without the course of treatment. The data for this article was collected through interviews of 46 formerly drug- and alcohol-addicted individuals who overcame their dependency without help from treatment programs or groups. Their research showed that individuals who had access to employment options and social resources thanks to their social position had a greater chance of overcoming dependency trouble. Most interviewed individuals were from stable, middle-class lives. Many had stable jobs, which provided access to non-using colleagues and financial security. Furthermore, many individuals lived with a sense of obligation, afraid that they might disappoint their non-using friends. Finally, these individuals had access to (familial) relationships that provided emotional support and tangible resources to maintain a stable life. By maintaining these relationships, respondents were able to avoid "being out on the streets" and find successful employment opportunities. This article showed several implications for a harm-reduction approach for drug and alcohol dependents. It showed that recovery from misuse might be better achieved by focusing on enhancing the social capital and the circumstances within which users are found rather than focusing on the drug or alcohol itself.
1. What may be some of the difficulties in promoting a harm-reduction approach focused on enhancing a person's social capital?
2. What might be some realistic means of increasing social capital? Would it look different from a treatment/support group?
In the article by Murphy and Rosenbaum, the two authors explored the lives and circumstances surrounding two users from different economic and social classes. Monique is an African-American woman living in a public housing project. Becky, on the other hand, is white and from a middle-class family. The article displayed the stark differences between the two girls, based on class and race and the effect these had on the consequences of drug use. Becky was able to use her middle-class resources to get an education, maintain a form of employment, and avoid being discovered as a drug user. Monique, on the other hand, who had no available resources, had been discovered as a drug user, experienced the court system, and was rejected by her family for her drug use. Class also determined the kind of drugs that were available to each class. Poor women of color were physically and culturally closer to crack, whereas affluent whites had no idea where to find or buy crack. Furthermore, middle-class women had more resources available and thus rarely had to resort to prostitution for drugs. In addition, Becky and other middle-class women had a better time recovering from drug use, as well. They were able to find jobs and stay away from continued drug use. Poor women of color, however, had nothing available to them even after quitting. They were unable to find employment and had no prospects to help improve their circumstances.
3. What other variables might influence the circumstances and consequences of drug use?
Righteous Dopefiend - Chapter Three Summary
In this chapter the ethnographic team covers the physical and physiological harm that the Edgewater homeless have to deal with and some of the structural issues that exacerbate the damage. The begin by discussing the debilitating effects of dopesickness, or heroin withdrawal, which get ignored in favor of the immense high that they receive from injecting. This influences the "moral economy" among the different individuals and groups out of shared experiences with withdrawal. However, personal and community injecting practices and sexuality were affected by ethnic and racial identification, divisions, and stereotypes, but which were sometimes ignored for the greater good. The second half of the chapter focuses on the structural issues that affected the aforementioned social norms and cultural practices. The white homeless typically received medical attention more often, or really they needed more of it, because of their injecting practices (the skin popping). But taken together the Edgewater homeless found many barriers to adequate healthcare and living healthier lifestyles which exacerbated their unhealthy injecting practices. Health workers and public outreach failed to realize that their middle class health practices had no practical application for these lower class individuals. In addition, the constant raids by police took away many of their resources to live healthy lifestyles. The result is that they are always and constantly in pain.
1. Has public health policy changed in recent years to properly address the health concerns and barriers of the Edgewood homeless?
2. What sort of policing strategies should be implemented to ensure that they don't abuse the homeless or "less of home"?
Murphy and Rosenbaum Article Summary
In this article the authors cover the very different experiences two women had with cocaine use due to their differing race, class, and geographic space. That although the cover two stereotypical cases they point out that while this is by no means a accurate representation of all of the intricacies and dynamics of society it nonetheless shows several facts. Being white distances oneself from racial stigma and oppression, enables access to greater amount of economic opportunities, and reduced exposure to harder substances such as crack, whereas the opposite is true for being black. In addition, being a member of the middle and upper class allows more educational and economic resources which make it easier in controlling expenditures and avoiding drug related problems, whereas the opposite is true for being a member of the working class or poor. Most importantly, being female, in combination with the aforementioned factors, exposed the women to different experiences with men and in how their drug use was dealt with. The conclusion is that class and race have an immense impact on the context by which a person is exposed to drugs, affects their degree of use, and what sort of damaging experiences they are exposed to.
1. How would these experiences be changed if the women used exclusively heroin or other opiates?
2. In what ways can we combat the institutional barriers that were faced by Monique?
The most recent themes in our coursework, race, class and gender, have been most explicitly described in our readings. In the reading, Two Women Who Use Cocaine Too Much, it illustrates the role of race and class in shaping the cocaine experience of two different women. It describes the similarities in age and initial use for each woman, but distinguishes the experiences by the evolution of each woman's addiction. The author notes that as race has fallen into "typical" socioeconomic statuses, certain women of different races have very different experiences of the same drug. Monique, a poverty stricken women, maintains her addiction through sex trade for a rock and quickly becomes homeless as a result of her lack of resources. Becky, a middle class woman, on the other hand, is able to maintain a drug addiction that started at an age well before Monique's. Becky is able to rely on her resources, connections, and family support to maintain a drug addiction that will not put her out on the street. This demonstrates how the history of racism has shaped how women of certain races experience drug usage.
In the same light, chapter 3 of Righteous Dopefiend, the authors study a community of heroin users both white and black. This chapter illustrates the typical differences among whites' and blacks' drug habits. It describes how blacks are cleaner, more masculine, and more precise to find veins when shooting up. They wear clothes and strive for their style to match those of the hip-hop artists (their role models). They also are able to look to those hip hop artists ways of living to maintain their masculinity. Finally, they believe in the initial rush of hitting a vein rather than skin popping. On the contrary, whites tended to be much more disorganized, dirty, non-sexually active, and were not as concerned about hitting a vein when shooting up. Despite the differences in drug use and lifestyle habit of these addicts, the authors make it a point to illustrate the sense of community that surrounds these people. Throughout the study, while whites and blacks might mention that they don't usually associate with one another, when there was a need for overcoming dope sickness, pooling money to buy a bag, or calling for medical help, it seemed as though race dissolved and there grew a temporary partnership to get done what needed to be done. It was a mutually understanding among the community and if it was not respected that person might be ostracized from the group.
It was interesting to see how racism played a role in both readings. I wonder though, if Monique and Becky (with the same backgrounds and social class described in the reading) found themselves in a community that was similar to the heroin community of Righteous Dopefiend, would they have had different outcomes? Rather, if Becky, with her background, and Monique with hers, both ended up on the streets under a bridge using cocaine, would Becky's middle-class background be enough to help her out of that situation? Or if an addict gets that far, does the luxury of that background eventually dissolve?
I also wonder if it is difficult to gain trust from other users in a community similar to the one described in Righteous Dopefiend. If I were a user just wandering town and came across the camp, would I be accepted immediately or would I be excluded until I "proved" myself one way or another to be a member of the camp? How might might acceptance or rejection from the group affect my addiction problem?
Finally, if Becky had had the exact same background as Monique, how might simply her race have been beneficial to her addiction and homelessness? Would she have had to become a toss up like Monique or would her race alone prevent her from reaching that far?
The third chapter of Righteous Dopefiend is called A Community of Addicted Bodies. This chapter starts out by talking about the physical dependency that heroin can have on the body. Felix opens up the narration, with his journey of needing heroin before he can even process that he is awake. He gets the shakes and other physical symptoms early in the morning because he needs his heroin fix so desperately. The chapter then goes on to talk a bit about the history of heroin in the United States, in a section called The Moral Economy. I was surprised to read that heroin injectors brag about how much heroin they use, usually by exaggerating. If I was addicted to something like heroin, I wouldn't be bragging; I would probably be hiding in shame. But that is the difference between the kind of community I live in, and the one they live in. I found the section about using the hospital, and the other consequences of heroin (such as HIV) especially interesting to read, mostly because HIV and infections are sometimes forgotten when learning about drug addiction.
The fourth chapter of Righteous Dopefiend is called Childhoods. I had a feeling that this chapter was going to be particularly emotional, and would answer some of the questions I had during chapters one and two about where these addicts came from and how they ended up where they were. From the text, we learn that most of them grew up poor (with a few exceptions). They share common themes of poverty, racial struggles, gang activity, abusive or absent parents, and having nowhere else to turn. This reminded me of some of the theories we touched on in class, such as anomie. These people seemed to have grown up in a world without norms, and they may have turned to drugs to find solace. This chapter made me aware of my own privilege even further than I usually am, which is often a somber realization.
1). Where did the term "the moral economy" come from? What does it mean, in terms of heroin?
2). For those that came from less-than-poor backgrounds, do they ever regret ending up where they are? Or are these things outside of their control?
3). How has living with the anthropologists changed the way the addicts see themselves, and their community?
"Two Women Who Used Cocaine Too Much" was about two cocaine users Monique and Becky. Both women were in their late teens when they started using cocaine but they both had different backgrounds. Monique was poor and lived in a housing project. Becky lived in a nice four-bedroom house and came from a middle class family. Race and gender plays an important role in women drug use. African American women that are poor usually turn to performing sexual acts for money quicker than white women because the white women have more financially resources. Also when middle class white women quit using drugs they have a better opportunity of being successful because they have more resources to help them quit and they will return back to their middle class life. Most females start using drugs with friends or with a male. When Monique quit using drugs she was depressed and in a homeless shelter. She didn't have anybody to help her get her life back on track. When Becky quit she went to college and her mom was supporting her financially.
Chapter 5: Making Money
The chapter begins by explaining that most people in San Francisco used to make their money by working in the shipyards but once globalization happened the companies left and the jobs they provided. Most of the homeless drug addicts used to have jobs in manual labor. The homeless men would work odd jobs for the local business owners but were paid little money. The men would usually lose their jobs frequently because of their behavior which was drug related. Only a few businesses on Edgewater boulevard hired the African American homeless men and they usually only hired them if the white men where unavailable. The white men had different panhandling styles than the black men. The white men would beg people for money and the black men seen begging as undignified.
Does race have anything to do with the types of drugs used and the consequences it has on the users life or does socioeconomic background play the biggest role?
Since housing projects seems to be a main place where drugs are used and sold, why isn't anything being done to eliminate them and provide better housing options for the people living there?
Why is dignity so important to the black homeless drug addicts?
Murphy & Rosenbaum
In "Two Women who Used Cocaine Too Much," Murphy and Rosenbaum detail the experiences of two different women - Becky, a middle-class white teenager and Monique, a lower-class black teenager - who get caught up in cocaine use at a young age. The chapter explains the importance of the social and economic factors in shaping drug use patterns, experiences, and consequences. The authors propose and reiterate many times the existence of "protections" for Becky. For example, she had her own private room in her mother's house, connections to a decent part-time job, and more money and resources to "dissipate before [she] hit[s] rock bottom" (101). Monique, on the other hand, started smoking crack after using powder cocaine for a while and lacked the same "protections" afforded to Becky. Monique had been denied by her mother and spent some time in a group home. After she left, she had little money but was still addicted to crack, so she began to use her body - her only resource left - in order to obtain the drugs. Women usually get access to drugs from men (100), but the power relationships in the two situations are different. One of the biggest differences between the two girls' stories is the relationship between drugs and sex. Becky did not need to use her body when she wanted more drugs because she had other ways to get cocaine. Monique, with no money, was denounced a "rock house toss up" for performing sexual acts in exchange for drugs. She ended up having more damaging emotional and mental consequences than Becky did due to the different social contexts in which they used drugs. The reading lists various "protections" like money, job connections, and stable living situations - what are other "protections" not discussed by Murphy and Rosenbaum? Additionally, how might have Becky's story been different had she started using crack?
Righteous Dopefiend: Chapter 4
This chapter deals with the heroin users' childhoods and their understanding of their family dynamics. Overall, African Americans maintained continuing relationships with their relatives and family friends while whites often spoke of their "outcast statuses" with their families. Many of them were no longer welcome around most of their family members. The chapter went on to detail the specific childhood experiences of the book's "characters." Sonny recognized himself as being the "black sheep" of his family while still maintaining a close, caring relationship with his mother. He understood his situation as a drug user as his own choice and took responsibility for his homelessness. When relatives asked Sonny to live with them or get into a methadone maintenance program, he declined, rationalizing his homelessness as "evidence of masculine autonomy and control" (122).
The chapter also discusses socialization into drug use, crimes, and gang violence. None of the white heroin users (aside from Al) had been arrested for gang activity as adolescents, while all the African American users had due to their peers and social environments. Bourgois states that whites first got into drugs and crime and violence was a result of long-term, out of control drug use, but that the African Americans were "formed into professional outlaws before they begun to use drugs" (133), due to gang involvement and violence in their communities.
The chapter talked about the paradoxical love/abuse continuum and the way it complicates the relationships between users and their close friends and family - can you (and/or how would you) apply the idea of this continuum to other types of addictions or harmful activities that come between families? What would it look like?
Granfield and Cloud. Natural Recovery and Social Capital.
Granfield and Cloud examine "natural recovery" from substance abuse/addiction, and how it is connected to social capital and larger social structure. Natural recovery is a recovery from substance abuse without going through any official treatment programs, or "cold-turkey" recovery. While drug addictions and its recovery have seen as rather an individual actions, the authors in this particle argue that the will and availability of natural recovery is connected to the larger social structures. Also, natural recovery reflects avoidance-oriented recovery (in which one experiences a negative consequence of substance abuse) and approach-oriented recovery (in which recovery results from pulls by the conventional society), and drug addicts' paths to natural recovery highlights a combination of these two orientations of recovery. The analysis of people who naturally-recovered showed that social positions matter, and that social capital is unequally distributed throughout society. The authors argue that social capital is related to one's ability to connect to the conventional society, and more social capital one has, he or she is more likely to take the natural recovery path. For instance, someone who is more to lose (like a good job or good relationships with family members) by drug abuse and its negative consequence is more likely to quit using drugs. Social capital also provides emotional support for addicts who want to get out of addiction. Because social capital is unequally distributed throughout society, occurrence of natural recovery is also unequally distributed across class, race, and so on.
Murphy and Rosenbaum. Two Women Who Used Cocaine Too Much.
This article highlights the intersection of class, race, and gender in cocaine use among women. This article is based on two case studies, however, it shed lights on how the intersection of class, race, and gender create different ways of drug use and recovery. For instance, to obtain money or drugs, Monique (a black poor woman) sell her body; while Becky (a white middle class woman) has access to work and money so she doesn't have to sell her body to obtain drugs or money. The kind of cocaine they use also differ. Monique uses crack while Becky use powder cocaine and weed. This difference is influenced by the social structure and class. Crack cocaine was first introduced in the urban areas (especially ghetto), and its use was rather contained in these areas as poor blacks often deal these; while powder cocaine is more expensive, and dealt at some affluent areas. Also, class influences one's ability to hide drug use. Becky who lives with her parent has her own room, and is able to conceal her drug use, especially from police; while Monique uses drugs in more public spaces where police could easily find and arrest. Also, while Becky was able to get off drug use and has a job, Monique lived in a homeless shelter and while staying away from drugs, there was a high possibility of reusing. These differences are produced by class differences (and its intersection with race and gender). (This article highlights Granfield and Cloud's argument about social capital.)
1. How would social capital related to dislocation theory?
2. How would social capital thesis be highlighted on Righteous Dopefiend?
3. How would social capital thesis differ from control theory tradition? (Since social capital and social bonds seem to be similar, I wonder how they differ or similar to one another)
4. Based on social capital thesis and illustration of two women using cocaine, how would you approach to change drug policy?
In chapter 3 of Righteous Dopefiend there was a clear focus on the moral economy of the community under the I-beam and the idea of dopesickness, or the withdrawal from their specific form of opiate. This chapter also included the culture of addiction, such as the dopefiends injecting one another when one was going through a withdrawal, and the racial and individual differences between them. Sometimes these differences need to be put aside and the members of the group have to work together to get through their struggle together, as a sort of support group. One of the main difference between the races when it comes to the culture of their society, is the way they go about doing their drugs. Whites are very unsafe and lucrative when they go about injecting themselves as opposed to the blacks that tend to take their time injecting and leave less of a mark on their bodies.
In Two Women Who Used Cocaine Too Much the authors argue that class, race, and gender are more important in shaping the experiences that cocaine users have with using the drug, instead of the actual drug itself. A very dominant aspect of this idea is the class that the woman belongs to because she will have to expend more resources before she officially hits "rock bottom". There were a few differences that put the two women, Becky and Monique apart from each other when it came to their drug use. One of these things was that Becky had the ability to conceal her drug habit from parental and institutional supervision.
What are some other reason that Becky was better off in her drug habit than Monique?
What do you think the differences between middle class women and upper class women might be?
Do you agree that the drugs are not the problem when it comes to the consequences and that the race, gender and economic class are what matter?
Murphy and Rosenbaum
In 'Two Women Who Used Cocaine Too Much', the authors record the experiences of two cocaine addicts. Monique's cocaine addiction was overwhelming and resulted in her exchanging sexual favors for hits of cocaine. Becky was able to maintain a job and bought cocaine with her friends. She even got high while on her shifts working at a coat check. The differences between the two women were their race and social-economic status. Monique was African-American and lived in public housing. Becky was white and middle class. These different backgrounds and races played a role in how their lives turned out, even though they used the same drug. Before getting into cocaine, Monique grew up in public housing and never knew her father. She was neglected by her mother and was eventually placed into a group home. Becky lived in a middle class suburban home and attended private school. Becky also grew up in a single parent home after her parents divorced. Both Becky and Monique had similar first experiences with cocaine. They both did not experience the high, but continued to use because there were no negative consequences in doing so. However, their racial and social-economic status differences made cocaine more available to Becky and crack more available to Monique. After deciding to quit cocaine, Monique went to a homeless shelter. Becky moved to Hawaii and went back to school. She also quit drinking and smoked marijuana less frequently. The authors concluded that the economic status and race of the two women affected the outcome of their drug use more then the actual use of the drug.
Would the results have been different if it had been an middle class African-American woman and a low class white woman?
What are ways that the lower class can escape the repetitive cycle of drug abuse?
The chapter begins by covering the moral economy, which describes how the addicts will share and offer drugs to one another knowing that the other person will owe them sometime in the future. The authors described how they would often do non drug related favors for each other as well in order to get a share of heroin. Addicts also had a sense of pride when it came to how much heroin they used throughout the day. Racial stereotypes of certain drugs still existed on the street as well, although all races used the same drugs. The researchers observed a difference between black and white men in terms of their sexual performance. The black men tended to gravitate to the heterosexual persona that was portrayed in hip hop. They publicly looked for sexual partners and even engaged in relationships. On the other hand, most of the white men did not pursue sexual activity, but merely reminisced about it.
Where do the resources used to treat the homeless and drug addicts come from? Is the emergency room described government funded?
In the readings for this week Two Woman Who Used Cocaine Too Much by Murphy and Rosenbaum, it showed the reader the personal view of Monique and Becky. Who would sell her body for drugs. Like the readings that we have done before from the book "Righteous Dopfiend" by Bourgois. In Two Woman Who Used Cocaine Too Much by Murphy and Rosenbaum, it portrays many of the similarity in drug abuse, but it does give the reader a narrower focus on the female's experience. In the reading by Murphy and Rosenbaum, it argues that class, race, and gender are an important role in the experience and consequence of using cocaine. Which I thought was an interesting intersection study on cocaine. I do feel "sickened" and sympathized towards Monique, because she was an example of a worst case scenario in the case of cocaine abuse. She was a black woman, and was from the under-class. Thus causing her more strain and stigma as a woman who is living with an addiction to drugs.
One thing that also was surprising in the reading to me was that both Becky and Monique weren't addicted or like cocaine at first. Due to the fact that they both didn't know what to expect from snorting the drug and didn't know how to appreciate it. Thus leading me to think about the study on "marijuana getting high." How there was a study on getting high by smoking weed. Which was a learning process for the user, because for the first time users, they wouldn't know when they are high. Part of that was what to expect of the drug until many uses later.
A question from about this reading is that Monique's addiction was found out by her mother and the court system at the age of 15. Why wasn't anything done to prevent her from using drugs? Also does class have to do with not getting her treated?
In the reading Social Context and Natural Recovery by Granfield and Cloud, they explored the natural recovery of the misuse of drugs such as alcohol and cocaine. In this article, it gave my statistics(numbers) of many studies. One theory that they look upon that strike me was the "avoidance initiated recovery(avoidance-oriented) where the person who is experiencing negative consequences of a drug stops using it. It sort of reminds me of the pre-cognition of the human mind. Where if we were to ask a person why they are doing something pertaining certain stigmas and consequences, that they would stop doing it.
-getting marry, getting a job, new relationships could also be part of the (avoidance-orientation)
-Bottom-hitting event was also a way for people to use drugs.
-The idea of social capital in "maturing out" of crime was also in interesting idea of natural recovery from drug abuse.
-The study by Granfield and Cloud was on 46 participants (21 cocaine addiction-25 alcohol) via semi-structured 2-4 hrs interviews.
My question for this article was "what are the benefits of this study for the people who participated and the general public?"
Righteous Dopefiend- Chapter 3
More than simply the addiction to a drug by a person to satisfy psychological cravings, is the harsh reality of the necessity of the drug to be used by that person to reduce withdrawal symptoms, physiological disorders and return to a state of optimum functioning. A Community of Drug Addicts, thus, is not created out of pure interest for drug consumption, but more as a support group. Chapter three of the book deals with understanding the characteristics of such communities, on how people behave and interact with one another, and what are the key differences amongst them. Addicts find it their moral responsibility to help other addicts to reduce the pain of withdrawal symptoms and physiological dysfunction, by raising money to buy dope and other drugs to treat and satisfy their cravings and needs. Within these communities, are racial behavioral differences in treatment and consumption. The key primary differences the authors pointed out how whites were more disorganized and rash in their drug treatment and injection, causing more harm versus African-Americans, who took their time with injections, and caused relatively less harm. Another difference was in the cultural influences for these groups. Whites had a hard time proving their masculinity and stature,because there weren't many role models for them to look up to. African-Americans on the other hand, were influenced by hip-hop culture, and it gave them something to look up to. Some other factors such sexual performance,gender roles, medical help,networking and so on, were also distinguishable within these communities among racial lines.
Righteous Dopefiend-Chapter 4
A vital part of the life of drug addicts is how their families reacted to their condition, how their families supported or severed ties with them, and how this in turn, impacted their behaviors. The authors,in their research, found vital differences in family dynamics and coping,across racial and gender lines, to the idea of their loved ones being homeless and addicted to drugs. Within these distinctions, the authors recalled stories of both affectionate and forgiving families,stating the example of Sonny,but also abusive and manipulative families, when in particular talking about Tina. Gender roles did play a role in each case, with Sonny playing the role of a protector for his family, whereas Tina was a caretaker, but did not receive adequate reciprocation. For the most part, the addicts had little to no contact with their family members, and the rare circumstances that they did have contact, was due to medical emergencies. Here as well, the division along racial lines meant that whites were less bonded with their families,than were African-Americans and Latinos. There are also the dynamics of the gender roles and behaviors of the mother and father in these families. In Latino households,for example, the mothers would bear the burden of their sons' homelessness, destructiveness and the pain that comes along with resorting to patriarchal system of family relations. The fathers, were more overpowering and abusive in their behavior. All these factors affected the psychological mindsets of homeless drug addicts.
Chapter three titled A Community of Addicted Bodies, begins with a description of the "moral economy" of drug sharing, which describes the comradery between the Edgewater homeless and their willingness to help each other stave off dopesickness by sharing their heroine with one another, a point that Bourgois and Schonberg later relate back to their likeliness to take part in risky drug practices like sharing syringes. A significant part of the chapter is dedicated to the techniques of injection, particularly the ways that they vary racially and the health concerns surrounding heroine injection. Bourgois and Schonberg explain the many ways that the United States health care system does not help and can even hinder the health of the homeless. A major concern with heroine injection mentioned in this chapter is the development of abscesses associated with "skin popping" a technique used primarily by the white men that involves shooting heroine under the skin rather than intravenously. This can cause infection that eventually leads to an open wound and in some cases flesh eating bacteria; one man mentioned had maggots living in his abscess. Something that really struck me in this chapter was the fact that some surgeons will operate on an abscess without using anesthesia or pain killers because they view the wounds as self inflicted and therefore not worthy of normal standards of practice. I found this incredibly upsetting; while I can understand the frustration especially since these people don't have insurance and can't afford to pay for treatment, removing huge amounts of skin without any sort of pain reducer is outrageously inhumane and isn't doing anything to get at the source of the problem. The way these men are treated by mainstream society is truly heartbreaking, and Bourgois and Schonberg bring up some very important points about our flawed system that spends more time and effort taking away their syringes and blankets than helping them survive. They also give an interesting perspective on harm reduction, while of course it's better than doing nothing harm reduction focuses primarily on educating addicts about what they can do to prevent serious health problems. Treating addiction in this way is assuming that these people are rational actors and should be held "morally responsible for choosing a lifestyle that avoids risk" which is over simplifying the problem and in many ways shames them for their supposed "choices". Chapter 4 was an interesting perspective on the early lives of the Edgewater homeless, it describes the childhood and young adulthood of some of the men (and Tina) most of whom were raised in dysfunctional and/or abusive homes. I think that this is an important backdrop for the study, it is fundamental in understanding how these people wound up addicted to heroine and living on the streets.
Some questions that I found myself wondering while reading these two chapters were:
As researchers how did Bourgois and Schonberg manage to keep a clear boundary between themselves and the homeless? Especially in the face of some very serious health concerns, I really wonder how much they did to ensure the men's safety.
How did the medical professionals get away with refusing to treat the men? or worse how did they get away with treating them in such inhumane ways? I wonder about what laws (if any) exist to protect the health of the homeless.
I also found myself wondering how the Affordable Care Act might change our policies surrounding health care for the poor and homeless, and how that might change societal views on healthcare for the homeless in the future. As a society we don't currently seem to view the homeless as human beings worthy of medical care.
In chapter 4 of Righteous Dopefiend, a number of drug users are interviewed on their childhood. They describe their relationships with their families and how their drug use has impact those relationships. A number of individuals no longer keep in contact with their families and have become disconnected with them because their usage has taken over their lives. Some, on the other hand, remain in contact with their families but their drug use has clearly put strain on their relationship. There appeared to be a connection between race and family relationship attainment. African Americans tended to maintain their relationships with their families throughout their addictions, while whites did not.
Why do you think whites did not maintain relationships with their families and blacks did?
Do you think race and socioeconomic status played a part in family relationship attainment amongst these individuals?
Why might these families choose to either maintain or discontinue relationships with their addicted family member?
The article Two Women Who Used Cocaine Too Much, followed two young girls, Becky and Monique who got caught up in the life of crack and cocaine, but endured opposing experiences due to their socioeconomic status and race.
Becky grew up in a white, middle-class, suburban neighborhood and became involved in cocaine due to the influence of working coat check at a club, and easy access through a male employee. Although she used cocaine on occasion, it didn't effect her long term life-style. She was able to maintain a job and a relatively normal life. She was also never exposed to crack cocaine anytime throughout her drug-use. After moving away from her old lifestyle she was able to continue pursuing her goals and easily kicked the cocaine habit.
Monique on the other hand had been exposed to cocaine at an early age and thereafter was exposed to crack cocaine in which she began using in the exchange of sexual intercourse. Monique was an African American that had grown up in a low-class urban area and had lived in the projects throughout her entire life. Her and her family did not have much money and she did not receive support from her family growing up.
What kind of influences on their drug use did Monique and Becky share?
How did race effect each girl's drug use independently?
In what why have men influenced the girl's drug use?
In their article Two Women Who Used Cocaine Too Much: Class, Race, Gender, Crack, and Coke, Murphy and Rosenbaum show that class, race, and gender are the most important factors in shaping ones experiences and consequences with drug use. The authors describe two different stories of crack and cocaine use, one of an African American girl living in poverty and a white girl living within the middle-class. Murphy and Rosenbaum explain that race and social class are key because they influence geographic location and a persons access to drugs. Also a middle-class woman who uses will have more resources to sustain their life style, whereas a women living in poverty that uses will not have these resources and will be forced to engage in illegal acts to maintain their lifestyle. The authors conclude "individuals who possess life options or have a stake in conventional life tend to have a greater capacity for controlling their drug use or for getting out of trouble if they don't."
The Granfield and Cloud article entitled Social Context and "Natural Recovery": The Role of Social Capital in the Resolution of Drug Associated Problems, shows the role of social capital in the "natural recovery" of self-remitters. The authors interviewed several addicts who quit without the assistance of treatment to see what was instrumental in their transformation. Granfield and Cloud found that individuals who had stable lives (jobs, financial status, etc.), who had obligations to others that increased their motivation to act in certain ways, and who maintained the relationships they had before, during, and after their drug use possessed greater social capital than others who did not had these. These aspects of social capital were key to the addict's recovery. The authors conclude that social capital is distributed differentially amongst drug and alcohol users and that those who possess larger amounts of social capital will be more likely to need less intrusive forms of treatment.
1. Both the articles focus a section about a person's social capital or stake in society, why do drug treatment centers/groups not take into account the benefits these can have on a person's recovery?
2. What potential social policies could come out of Granfield and Cloud's findings? Do they fit into the ideas of harm-reduction?
3. Can we transform communities to be a place where a person can hold social capital?
In chapter three of Righteous Dopefiend, "A Community of Addicted Bodies", Bourgois and Schonberg focused on the culture of addiction and the racial and individual differences between the addicts under the I-beam. Under the I-beam and surrounding areas, there was a general understanding that helping, in the case of dope sicknesses, came before most feuds and personal differences. They also found racial difference between addiction such as crack being the black man's drug despite periodic use by whites. The authors also looked at teh methods of administering used by whites and blacks. Blacks rarely "skin-popped" and would spend hours searching for a suitable vein. This focus on administration to the vein resulted in more intense highs but also more blood-borne disease. Whites often "skin-popped" rather than searching for the elusive vein. While this reduced the time necessary for getting high, this often lead to large abscesses.
In chapter three of Righteous Dopefiend, "Childhoods", Bourgois and Schonberg focused on the relationships the addicts had with their families. Most of the addicts underneath the I-beam came from lower-class neighborhoods, often from up the hill. Despite the similar socioeconomic backgrounds of the addicts, the level of acceptance by their families differed. They found that black people and Hispanics were often still included and accepted by their families. They often spent time at a family member's home. Whites, on the other hand, were rarely still accepted and included by their families. They were reluctant to even contact their families when they were sick.
1. How did the family members of the white addicts react when they were contacted by Bourgois and Schonberg for interviews?
2. What do Bourgois and Schonberg think are the best methods for harm reduction?
3. Do the authors think that the amount of resources being used to treat the repeated self-mutilation injuries of the addicts at the hospital is ethical?
Aside from the intimate apartheid, the racial segregation which was introduced in chapter 1, chapter 3 introduces the topic of dopesickness and its moral economy. Dopesickness is withdrawal from opiates. When a close member of the community would go through or begin this withdrawal, other members would usually inject a small amount of the drug into them. This system would try to aid each other from going through these withdrawals. When these individuals begin to have a bad relationship with one another, this system begins to break down. Does this system create a stronger community between the addicts? Or will it eventually create greed, knowing that the individual would receive a small dose of substance if he starts to go through a withdrawal? (Wouldn't have to find his own drugs, and relies on others for it.) Is this system strong enough to break down the racial barrier?
This chapter focuses on the childhood or early life of Edgewater Boulevard residents. Several individuals were interviewed for this chapter, which showed the wide variety of backgrounds that many of these individuals came from and the different factors that lead to them becoming drug addicts, while all of them coming from a bad childhood. Some had a great relationship with their family, some stole from their parents, and some haven't seen their parents. Do the types of relationships with family cause addiction? Location? Or both?
Hey class I am not certain if this is true but I ran across this today.
Chapter 3 - A community of addicted bodies
Chapter 3 discusses dopesickness and how the moral economy within the group represents a safety net from becoming dopesick. Everybody who used heroin had been dopesick multiple times, and when someone was dopesick there would almost always be somebody else giving them a small fix to delay the sickness. Dopesickness was a common enemy that everyone could come together to fight. But if bad blood came between members of the group, such as when Frank and Felix stopped being running buddies, they might not help the person out of a sickness. The chapter also discusses intimate apartheid, or racial segregation, among users, and Al's rejection of the segregation. It seems that heroin users liked to stick with people who had similar attitudes about injecting, similar demeanors while high, and similar levels of trustworthiness. Health issues are brought up in the second half of the chapter, and Hogan's various emergency room visits are detailed. Hogan's abscesses land him in emergency room surgery multiple times, and he says twice that he wishes he would have been kept at the hospital longer. While our interpretations of these experiences in Righteous Dopefiend are limited to what is written on the pages, I must ask this question: do these addicts ever hesitate in performing the destructive behaviors of heroin injection? They have all been using heroin for years, sometimes decades, except for Tina. It seems very troubling that everyone is so ok with being trapped within this subculture. Do they have no desire to get off heroin? Or do they think they don't have the strength to cut the opiate out of their lives?
Chapter 4 - Childhoods
This chapter on childhood discusses what early life was like for the residents of Edgewater Boulevard. They all had troubling childhoods, but they also had unique life events that influenced their addictions. Some had good relationships with their families, while others hadn't seen their parents in decades. Sonny and Carter reminisced together about their own separate times at Log Cabin, a juvenile correctional facility in San Francisco. Most of the residents at Edgewater Boulevard spoke respectfully of their mothers, although Felix's Highway Patrol brother revealed that Felix stole from their mother to buy heroin.
Frank and Tina both consented to interviews with family members; these were great sources to get more information on the addicts' childhood, and to confirm or deny various stories told. Tina talks about her experiences as a child, primarily her first experiences with witnessing sex work within her house. And Frank spoke with his dad for the first time in 15 years, mainly about their relationship and where things went wrong. Frank spent the entire interview seeking approval of his father, although he did not receive much.
Did Tina ever think she could do something different with her life? Or did she feel destined to prostitute herself because she saw it so often as a child? And did Felix truly forget that he was stealing from his mother to buy heroin? Was he strung out each time he stole furniture? Or maybe he has blocked that memory out of his mind due to his desperation to please his mother?
Granfield and Cloud - Social Capital & "Natural Recovery"
This study conducted by Robert Granfield and William Cloud explores the association of a person's social capital and their ability for "natural recovery". Natural recovery is the cessation of alcohol and drug use without formal treatment groups or programs. Many related studies have shown that natural recovery can be more promising than treatment or 12-step processes. The authors are drawing on the thesis that life circumstances pose a greater barrier to effective self-change. They begin by defining two recovery routes taken for natural recovery. The first is avoidance-oriented. This is when individuals experience negative consequences of their substance abuse; often referred to as "hitting-bottom". The other route is approach-oriented. This is when the pulls of the "good" life are exemplified by value systems like work and stable living. Jobs, families, friends, responsibility and religion are all "pulls" in approach-oriented recovery. Granfield and Cloud states that self-change is strongly associated with the ability to reflect on the costs and benefits of continued use. Their study examines the role of social capital which is described as the sum of resources an individual has of relationships and recognition. They conclude that one's social structural position and associated social relations mediate the ability to experience self change. Having stable environments provides users with the opportunity to witness the consequences of excessive use.
Murphy and Rosenbaum - Social Class vs. drug experiences
This chapter by Sheigla Murphy and Marsha Rosenbaum, reflects on the experiences of two women in their study regarding how race and class effect drug experience. The thesis of this section is to show that race, class and gender are important in shaping different experiences and consequences of use. To understand the consequences of cocaine and crack we have to understand the differences in the setting of use. Studies have shown that women, including the two mentioned in this chapter, gain access to cocaine and crack principally through men. As well, poor minority women live in areas where certain drugs are more available. Class is a crucial in determining aspect of the context or setting of drug use. Their study reveals that middle-class women have more resources to pull from before they "hit bottom". Whereas, poor women with fewer resources are more easily coerced into trading sex for drugs. The two women referenced in this chapter are Monique and Becky. Monique is a Black American from a poor neighborhood and Becky is white and middle-class. Monique's experiences with crack may have started the same as Becky's but the following consequences of her drug use are very different. Monique is forced from her home, stigmatized, forced to trade her body and ultimately arrested. Becky was able to maintain a "normal" lifestyle, she was able to use her drug in private and never had any legal consequences. Murphy and Rosenbaum's concluding statement is that though drugs can affect anyone from any race or class, those who have more life options (middle-class) have a greater capacity for controlling their drug use or for getting out of trouble.
1. How does Bruce Alexander's dislocation theory apply to Becky's story?
2. This study makes it sound like crack does not exist in middle-class white areas. Didn't we learn that whites were twice as likely to use crack?
3. How does race affect "natural recovery"?
The first chapter of Righteous Dopefiend discusses the race relations present among the crack and heroin users on the streets. While the camp the ethnographers visited was originally occupied by white people and one Latino man named Felix, the presence of one black man named Carter led to a shift in the racial make up of those in the area, until eventually all of the white people had moved away from the area. While different race groups don't tend to get along very well, everyone is surprised by the strong friendship that occurs between a white man, Al, and a black man, Sonny. While they have betrayed each other at times, this behavior seems common among the other drug users in the area.
The second chapter mainly focuses on an African American crack user named Tina and her romantic relationship with Carter. Tina has a long history of physical and sexual abuse starting from her childhood. On the streets, she goes into outbursts in order to get people to stop messing with her, as there is a high level of violence against women on the street. Carter and Tina both take care of each other, and have to steal things and resell them in order to get by. Towards the end of the chapter, Tina reveals that she has recently started using heroin, though she seems ashamed of her actions.
Why is Al and Sonny's friendship so easy for them to maintain, but so difficult for others to understand?
How was Stretch's sexuality perceived by the rest of the community, or did he have to hide it from them before he left the camp.
Did Tina act with the same sense of shame when she first started using crack, or was that an acceptable drug to use in her mind?
The Dislocations Theory of Addiction chapter explains Alexander's theory on addiction, which revolves around the idea that one must have some attachment to society in order to live a healthy mainstream life. Alexander insists that we must develop an interdependence with society in order to feel like we belong in the social world, and when we don't we can become dislocated. He also argues that our quickly globalizing free-market society encourages individualism and competition, which in turn produces mass dislocation. For those of us who do not achieve psychosocial integration it may seem necessary to devote ourselves to an alternative lifestyle as a replacement for integration or a way to adapt to dislocation. These substitute lifestyles according to Alexander often lead to self-destructive behavior and addiction when the individual cannot cope with dislocation. Alexander says that the dislocation theory does not medicalize addiction; does he believe in medicalized treatment as a potential solution? Does this theory apply to treatment or just as a causal explanation? I also wonder what other aspects of society might contribute to dislocation.
The introduction to Righteous Dopefiend by Philippe Bourgois and Jeffrey Schonberg describes the book as an ethnography that aims to explore the lives of drug users living in poverty and the "large scale power forces" in society, in order to understand why addiction is such an enormous problem in the United States despite our wealthy and powerful global status. Their goal is to portray the reality of life on the streets for these heroine addicts in order to gain a deeper understanding of the social forces at work. The chapter begins by describing the day to day lives of some of the homeless heroine addicts living under the freeway systems in San Francisco, and their never ending search for another fix. It gives us an overview of what life on the streets entails for the Edgewater community of homeless addicts from a firsthand source.
Chapter 1: Intimate Apartheid discusses the ethnic and racial tensions of homeless drug addicts in San Francisco. Philippe Bourgois and Jeff Schonberg describe the segregated black and white homeless encampments, while also acknowledging that racism was treated as self-evident and acceptable. White drug addicts abandoned an encampment "to escape from the niggers" (36). Although the authors acknowledge widespread racism with blacks and whites, they reveal that the two groups needed to interact in order to buy and sell drugs. Additionally, the relationship between Al and Sonny displays that there are exceptions to intimate apartheid and segregation.
Chapter 2: Falling in Love focuses on Tina and Carters relationship, and gives a snapshot of life on the streets from a woman's perspective. Because Tina is one of the few women in the area, she uses her femininity in order to get drugs, alcohol, and food. Tina grew up in a culture of sex work and drugs, and has learned the hard way that homeless women must be assertive in order to get what they want. Tina and Carter have a romantic relationship, and share food and drugs with one another in order to survive.
-How does the homeless encampment mirror mainstream American society?
-Why are relationships and trust so important for survival? Tina and Carter. Al and Sonny
-What happens to the children of women like Tina?
In the first chapter of Righteous Dopefiend, the authors introduce all of the "characters" of their ethnography. They also describe the main area of their focus, known as Edgewater Boulevard in San Francisco. They followed and was apart of the lives of the heroin users who called Edgewater home. They also discussed the topic of race in this chapter. The races in the Edgewater community tended to stick with people of their same race. However, they describe an incident where Carter, an African-American man, became a regular in the white heroin scene. That lead to a few more African-Americans mingling within the white community. They also described the social hierarchy that appeared in the community; the African-American drug dealers were at the top, followed by the homeless whites. This ethnic segregation is known as intimate apartheid, which derives from childhood experiences.
Chapter Two focuses more on the female experience of being a heroin user in the streets. Women are scarce in the at Edgewater Boulevard due to the dangers of violence they could face, including rape. Looking at the hierarchy in the community, women fall at the bottom of it along with the homeless whites, which poses a danger in itself. This chapter focuses on the pasts of women and how it shapes the femininity they can or cannot display in the streets. Despite it all, Tina, one of the women highlighted in this chapter, celebrates her femininity as apart of something that makes her who she is.
1. How does race only affect social relations and does not stop the sale of drugs between the races? Is money the main factor?
2. Looking at the ethnography from a research methods view, how are the subjects compensated during this study? Are they at risk for criminal persecution from the police?
3. How does racism continue to be a factor even in Edgewater Boulevard even though all of the people are in the same situation?
In Chapter 1 Philippe Bourgois and Jeff Schonberg introduces the people who live around Edgewater Boulevard. Mainly that area consisted of homeless white men. However, over time blacks began to move in to the area. Social hierarchy is apparent between the different races in that area. The African American drug dealers were above in the social hierarchy followed by the homeless whites who were below it. Bourgois and Schonberg define the ethnic segregations as intimate apartheid--which results from the participants' everyday practices driven from habitus since childhood (p. 42).
In Chapter 2 Bourgois and Schonberg's examines the role of femininity in their ethnography. Women do not come around as much as men at the camp at Edgewater Boulevard due to the potential violence they can face, such as rape or murder. Similarly to the importance of social hierarchy among the different ethnic races between men, women appear to be at the bottom level with the homeless whites. However, Tina is different from the ordinary women because she stands her ground. She uses her sexuality and femininity to get what she wants from men. According to Bourgeois and Schonberg, sexuality and femininity was a huge part of her childhood that shaped her habitus. She was constantly exposed to that type of environment where not only racial and social differences matter but gender as well. Tina's story is an example of Bourgois and Schonberg's idea of intimate apartheid.
1. If the homeless whites also participated in drug dealing would they be at the same level of social hierarchy as the black drug dealers or eventually become higher?
2. What connections can you make regarding the importance of social status among these participants in Righteous Dopefiend to those in his other ethnography, In Search of Respect: Selling crack in El Barrio?
3. In Felix's situation he is struggling to mark himself with other races to fit in. Do you believe Bourgois and Schonber's definition of intimate apartheid applies to Felix? In other words, has he developed this habitus of gaining respect more important than pursuing the interest of others from his same ethnic group?
Righteous Dopefiend Ch.1 summary:
In chapter one of Righteous Dopefiend Phillipe Bourgois discusses the idea of "Intimate Apartheid" which conveys, "...the involuntary and predictable manner in which sharply delineated segregation and conflict impose themselves at the level of everyday practices driven by habitus" (42). The chapter follows his and the other members of the ethnographic team's early time spent with the various people in a central camp of homeless, and the area surrounding it, in Edgewater Boulevard underneath an eight lane highway in San Francisco. Over this period of time the social hierarchies among them changed along ethnic, racial, and socio-economic lines depending on the number of one particular group. But as Bourgois this is a mistake to label them as social groups because, indeed, it takes away their individual identity. They are influenced by marco-sociological factors that have entered into their everyday interaction with each other. Indeed the ways that the people describe themselves, each other, their drug habits, and people they encounter reveal a complex social structure that is shocking but also surprising in how demonstrates how oppressive ideologies perpetuate themselves everywhere.
1. What are some of the limitations of this research?
2. What policy changes would you make in order to address the issues that the subjects in this chapter talk about? (For instance, "gangs" running a homeless shelters? Or how police go about enforcing laws on homeless individuals).
3. How does this experience relate to fictional representations in crime drams, such as the character Bubs in the Wire?
Bruce Alexander Reading:
The reading by Bruce Alexander covers his ideas on the Dislocation Theory of Addiction and the various ways in which it engages addiction, to any sort of behavior socially accepted or not, in a new way than the typical theories that we have covered earlier in the semester. He defines this theory as addiction arises from a lack of psychosocial integration with society. Also defined as "a poverty of the soul' or in other ways which outline an argument that if there are only two sides to an argument then that person does not understand the immense complexities of human existence. Globalization has caused an increase this sort of addictive behavior and that it is a result to prolonged dislocation. He outlines four of the traditional dichotomies present in the War on Drugs discourse that are false because they promote a obscuring picture of the total problem, which the dislocation theory seeks to point out. The false dichotomies are; addiction as a medical or criminal problem, addicts as out of control or acting of their own free will, addiction either being psychological or physical, and drugs either being prohibited or legalized. If anything should be taken from this it is that there are many different facets to any one issues and that multiplies exponentially in the context of other issues. Thus, treating addiction in dualistic and absolutist notions severely hinders meaningful dialogue and action.
1. How would you reorder the federal government's drug schedules (if at all) in order to promote a more productive dialogue on drug laws and their enforcement?
2. What are some practical applications of Alexander's theory of addiction?
In chapter 1, Intimate Apartheid, Philippe Bourgois and Jeff Schonberg the ethnographers and photographers discuss how they became a part of the lives of a few dozen homeless heroin injectors in an area of San Francisco that they call Edgewater Boulevard. They talk about how the scene is mostly whites and how each race usually stays within their race. But, in the second year an African-American named Carter became a regular in their scene. This attracted three other African-Americans and they ended up taking over the encampment and the whites moved out. The homeless had to learn to commingle between the races and share their limited resources.
In chapter 2, Falling in Love, we find out more about Tina and Carter. Tina drinks and smokes crack while Carter injects heroin. They end up becoming a couple and begin doing nighttime scavenges to make money for their addictions. We find out that Carter is a Vet and a cook. Tina discussed her past with Jeff and how selling sex for money ran in her family. She also went into detail about the violence and sexual abuse she had endured when she was a child. She didn't establish herself as a "ho'" because she did not have a pimp so she was in control and not a man. At the end of this chapter Tina has a little secret to tell Jeff that she had started shooting.
Tina's Mom expected her to get money from the man she first had sexual relations with, what makes an individual especially a mother make her child experience something like that?
Why do you think that Bourgois and Schonberg decided not to spend the nights at the encampment with the others?
Is Sonny's reaction regarding Tina shooting heroin really that sincere?
Chapter 1 begins by describing the area where all the drug addicts live which is under a freeway and the order in which they came to live there. The lives of some of the inhabitants of the camp are briefly explained. The dope fiends racially divide themselves but they get along with each other enough to coexist. The dope fiends once all had places to stay and stable jobs while using drugs but they quickly became homeless and jobless when they made a mistake that subsequently got them evicted from the places they were staying. Most of the racial tension stemmed from the white dope fiends being angry with the black dope fiends for taking their territory, which led to them having to find alternative places to live and sell their drugs.
Chapter 2 is about the experience of a woman dope fiend on the streets. Tina is addicted to crack and alcohol. Even though she partakes in the dope fiend lifestyle she still manages to be feminine. Since Tina is a woman in a male dominated environment she tends to be loud and aggressive so nobody won't try to hurt her. Tina is involved in a romantic relationship with Carter also a dope fiend. Tina throughout her life used sex as a way to get things she needed and wanted from men like food, money and drugs.
1. Why do the dope fiends feel okay with buying drugs and selling drugs to dope fiends of different races but they don't feel it is okay to be friends with them?
2. Why did the white dope fiends view Frank as an honorary white?
3. Why did the storeowner allow the dope fiends to sell drugs in front of his store without calling the police?
Bruce Alexander's chapter on the Dislocation Theory of addiction begins by discussing the importance of psychosocial integration. Psychosocial integration is the interdependence between an individual and their society. Without psychosocial integration one is prone to dislocation, which is a type of isolation one has from society. It is theorized that dislocation is what steers one into the direction of addiction. Alexander says that capitalism hinders psychosocial integration and actually promotes dislocation from society, thus leading to addiction. He goes on to say that addiction is a form of coping with prolonged dislocation from society. Next he talked about four false dichotomies about drug addiction. First, it was asked whether or not drug addiction should be considered a medical or a criminal problem. Second, whether one addicted is powerless in their addiction, or if they are acting within their own freewill. Also, whether or not drug addiction is psychological or physical and if drug prohibition or more drug legalization is the right answer.
The first chapter of Righteous Dopefiend introduces the fieldwork of Bourgois and Schonberg. We are introduced to a group of homeless heroine users who live together in encampments on the streets. They talk a lot about the ethnic hierarchy in the neighborhood and about a lot of racism that exists there. Many of the main characters, whites and Latinos included, are prejudiced toward African Americans. When more black people move into the encampment, the whites move their stuff away from their space and complain that they are too loud at night. They discussed how even though the residents were essentially forced to mingle amongst different races on a daily basis the racism was still present.
1. Could the argument be made that it is actually addiction that leads to dislocation?
2. What does Alexander mean when he says dislocation is not only individually painful but is "socially destructive?"
3. Why was racism so prevalent in the encampment in Bourgois' research?
Righteous Dopefiend (introduction, 1, 2)
This book is based on a years long fieldwork in San Francisco on homeless people. The introduction shows how urbanization and city structure shaped areas where homeless people lived, that there is a generation gap in the attitude toward drug use (younger generation tends to avoid using drugs due to fear of being addicted and lose everything), and that homeless population has established an economic structure based on moral, exchange, and social network. These factors have led homeless people to establish a relatively solid community where mutual dependency is inevitable. Chapter 1 focused on the ethnic structure in which is quite segregated-Whites hang around with whites, blacks are with other blacks, and latinos are working with other latinos. Black people are stigmatized by white homeless people, and are labelled as lazy, violent, and cannot be trusted. Chapter 2 shed lights on women on streets. Men on streets tend to adopt patriarchal attitude toward women that women are weak and should be domesticated, and that they should not be on streets. However, women who appeared on the book portrayed themselves as strong and independent. They often used sex as a means of power to get money, food, clothes, and other materials. This relying on sex rooted in the childhood normalization of violence and sex. (Chapter 3 also highlighted the relationship between Carter and Tina who were black, and how their love developed and functioned in homeless environment.)
Alexander, Bruce. The Dislocation Theory of Addiction.
The dislocation theory is a theory about a lack of psychosocial integration. In other words, this theory is about how individuals lack their psychological and social connection to the larger community, and how this disconnection leads to an addiction. This theory argues that the free-market society (globalized strong capitalism) which is the driving force of the US economy and society has created a space where competition is so intense. According to this theory, an addiction is a form of adaptation to achieve psychosocial integration (addiction is an adaptation to the dislocation), and that a drug addiction is created by those people who failed to adopt to this market ideology and failed to keep up the cultural push to keep succeeding.
1. What other factors related to urbanization could influence the emergence of homelessness and the structure of homeless community?
2. What other alternatives are available for women like Tina in society and homeless community?
3. How can dislocation theory be applied to righteous dopefiend?
4. What other forces, in addition to free-market society, could contribute to dislocation?
In the reading, Bruce Alexander talks about the plethora of addiction models and theories that have been formed over the years and how basically none of them can really be proved or disproved. These theories keep piling up but in general it seems that there are a few larger theories that most researchers come to agree upon. Alexander uses three principles to explain dislocation theory, the first being psychosocial integration as a necessity. Psychosocial integration is the idea that individuals try to fulfill their own personal needs of individuality and success along with seeking out social belonging. The lack of this integration is what is called dislocation. Dislocation is something that most can handle for a decent amount of time, but when when dislocation is severe or lasts for an extended amount of time, it can result in confusion, sadness, shame and can eventually lead people to make self-destructive choices. Alexander also talks about the globalizing free market as something that, even in prosperity, creates dislocation among individuals on a large scale and that in a free market economy, this is natural. In order to achieve the most highly functioning free market society, people have to act out roles and make trades of labor and profits, and this tears apart psychosocial integration by not allowing individuals to act according to their needs and not being able to really be immersed in society. In order to cope with this, in some cases, inevitable dislocation, some people get wrapped up in addictive behaviors to things that help them forget their troubles or help them find themselves in some way. Addiction comes from seeking out a substitute for a lack of psychosocial integration but no matter how long an addiction lasts, it isn't effective. In fact, it seems that an addiction, which leads to destructive habits, not only doesn't fulfill anyone's needs for psychosocial integration, but also makes dislocation more severe and even more prolonged. In most addictions, people sacrifice social activities to indulge in their addictions meaning many social interactions are being cut out. As addictions worsen, addicts become even more disconnected from society so that by the time an addict figures out how to kick their habit, they are already so far dislocated. This is probably also why many addicts go into relapse.
1. This theory, according to Alexander, has relevance to Freud's ideas about ego and that the lack of ego development can make one more prone to addiction. Alexander also mentions something about youth, which leads me to believe that if this theory is correct, then it makes sense that a lot of addictions start around highschool age for people. This is a prime time for people to try and discover themselves and where they belong in society.
2. I feel that with combining dislocation theory with development in general, there could be a lot of predictions made about who is more likely to experience dislocation and why that is or may be the case. Someone's emotional stability and their interpretation of the social world could effect the degree of dislocation that they experience.
3. I wonder how prevalent this theory is among scientists who research addiction. I wonder how many other theories there are the are similar to this one and how widely accepted they are.
"The Dislocation Theory of Addiction," chapter 3
In chapter three, Alexander discusses psychosocial integration, its importance, and the problems that can occur with the lack of it. As defined by Alexander, psychosocial integration is interdependence between an individual and society. He means that one must find a balance between individual satisfaction and involvement and belonging within a community in order to feel fulfilled. He then goes on to describe dislocation as a lack or loss of psychosocial integration, often caused by the free market society's model of extreme, individual competition that can alienate people from their communities. Prolonged dislocation can lead to despair, shame, emotional anguish, boredom, and forms of self-destruction. Dislocation can be a cause of addiction(3) if the person cannot adapt to the sustained dislocation. The consequences of being addicted to something (e.g. work, shopping, food, religion, drugs, alcohol, etc.) are more sustaining than the 'unrelenting torment of social exclusion and aimlessness,' and thus people become addicts to cope.
Dislocation theory is not used to explain the use of drugs and rituals for recreational, cultural, or therapeutic reasons, and additionally does not explain why some people get addicted to one substance or activity, while other don't and end up taking on another activity in an addictive manner. How might we adapt or change the dislocation theory to address this? Or would we need a different theory altogether? How can we use the dislocation theory (or how would we explain) the different outcomes of addictions (e.g., death, recovery, lifetime addictions, etc.)?
Righteous Dopefiend, chapter 1
In chapter 1, Bourgois introduces the individuals he observed in San Francisco - heavy users of drugs who experience varying degrees of homelessness. Some stayed in single room occupancy housing or in shelters while others stayed in motels, with friends or relatives, or slept on the outside. In fact, the frequent transition amongst these different options by those in need of housing is what makes determining the transition to homelessness difficult. Bourgois also discusses the social dynamics of different homeless encampments, all of which had hostile boundaries between racial groups that were mutually dependent. All of this complicates the structure of the social network. Bourgois talks about a "gray zone" where the struggle to survive overrides what he calls "human decency" - it is understood that everyone is just trying to live day-to-day, so betrayals are often forgiven.
Chapter 1 also dissects the racial hierarchy and reveals the assumption of supremacy by the middle-class whites in these encampments, despite their low-class status. Additionally, at one point, Felix (the only Latino) classifies all the African Americans as "scandalous crack monsters" and who occasionally fills the roll of "honorary white" (30, 37). As readers, we begin to understand the rules and operations of these micro-societies. What are the implications of the "gray zone" and where else is that idea applied?
In chapter one of Righteous Dopefiend, titled Intimate Apartheid, we are introduced to a wide cast of characters: Max, the first to settle in the area. Felix and Frank. Petey and Scott, who were nicknamed "the Island Boys" by Felix. Al, a toothless man. Rosie, Al's girlfriend. Hank, who seems to be the eldest of the bunch. There are also some other women who pop in and out of the camp, but only one had a name- Nickie. These people were all settled in the area because of their shared addiction to heroin and other illegal drugs. The chapter outlined social hierarchies, even amongst homeless heroin users, as well as talking about racial disparities and inequalities. One quote from chapter one that stuck out to me was: "The homeless, middle-aged, white heroin injectors we befriended were at the bottom of the corner's social hierarchy and often displayed their low status by begging in tattered clothing." This painted a particularly strong image in my mind.
Chapter two of Righteous Dopefiend is called Falling In Love. It focused a lot on a woman's role on the streets. Many women come from broken homes, and have been victims of physical, emotional, or sexual abuse (or a combination of one or more). These women often times use their sexualities to get what they want, whether it's drugs, money, food, or some sort of stability. Women are also treated very poorly on the streets. This makes them less likely to want to act feminine. Despite this, some women, such as Tina, celebrate their femininity as a sense of identity. This was very interesting to me, because it was a very bold move for her to do in order to stay safe and alive in such a harsh climate.
Some questions that I had about these chapters are:
1). How were these people made to feel safe while talking and being interviewed by the sociologists? This makes me think back to my social research methods. Were they compensated in any way?
2). Race, gender, and class were all thoroughly discussed in the first two chapters. Will we hear more about other social issues, such as sexuality and disability, in later chapters?
3). I want to know more intimate details about each person in particular- what caused them to use drugs, when they started, what they did before drugs, how drugs have changed them. Hopefully we will get more of that in later chapters, too.
In his article, The Dislocation Theory of Addiction, Bruce Alexander describes psychosocial integration and shows how the lack or loss of this leads to dislocation. Psychosocial integration, as described by Alexander, is the interdependence between individuals and society which normally grows and develops throughout a person's life. The author goes on to say that when a person has lost this integration, dislocation happens. He goes on to say that because of this dislocation, some turn to a different lifestyle that is seen as a substitute for psychosocial integration. Many times this lifestyle becomes a drug one, and leads to addiction. The theory does have several limitations, including not being able to show or explain why someone who is dislocated becomes addicted, when another dislocated person does not. Despite these limitations, the author shows that the theory can disprove four different dichotomies that are held by the public about addiction.
In Chapter 1 of Righteous Dopefiend, the authors describe the ethnic layout of the Edgewater homeless community. The ethnic hierarchy is unlike that in dominant society. whites in the community are often held at the bottom of the social chain, seen as "white trash" by African Americans primarily. Despite this, because of racism within dominant society, whites in theses communities often hold the ideology of being superior. The authors described the influx of African Americans into the underpass and the subsequent white flight to a different area. The authors described that there was hardly any racial mixing.
1. In his article, Alexander describes the problem of dislocation as a result of the free-market. How would he explain addiction through this theory in places such as China, or Russia?
2. Could we ever dissolve the problem of dislocation? Will there always be those who have addiction due to this problem because of our free-market system?
3. Why is there such a disparity between men and women in terms of homelessness? The book mentioned that street life is more dangerous for women, but there must be homeless women too?
In chapter 1 of Righteous Dopefiend, Bourgois and Schonberg examined the ethnic hierarchies that were present in the San Francisco area. They followed a group of white homeless heroin addicts and observed their interactions with other ethic groups. The researchers noted that individuals tended to stay in groups with their own ethnic groups. The group of heroin addicts that were being observed had a encampment underneath a highway. This encampment was originally composed of only white inhabitants, but eventually African Americans began to filter in as well. The first African American to join was Carter James. He was originally accepted into the group because of his willingness to share and contribute to the encampment with money from his job. However, as his addiction got worse, he eventually was kicked out of his sister's house and lost his job as well. His entry into the encampment brought 3 other African Americans into the group as well. This integration brought up racial conflicts between the white and black groups. Eventually, white members left the encampment and set up a new one several blocks away in order to 'escape the niggers'. Eventually, several Latinos started living in the encampment as well. Even though the different ethnic groups had to compete for the same resources since they were in the same location, their close proximity to one another made their dislike for one another worse.
What are the motives behind the racist behavior that the ethnic groups display? Both are in the same situation as being addicted and homeless, so what benefit is there to incorporate racism?
How does law enforcement deal with these types of encampments? It was mentioned that several encampments had been 'evicted' but just set up in a new location.
In chapter 1, it was frequently mentioned that women had a difficult time on the streets. In chapter 2, the researchers noted that Tina, one of the African Americans who moved into the encampment, would make up for her lack of physical strength by having outbursts when she was disrespected. She would also use her femininity to obtain things that she wanted. She set Carter and Reggie against each other in order to get gifts of crack and alcohol from both of them. Tina told Schonberg about her experiences as a child and how she was sexually abused by strangers as well has her own family members. This led to prostitution as a way to get things that she needed, like cigarettes, alcohol, and bus fares. However, Tina still distinguished herself from 'ho's', who depended on pimps. Carter and Tina eventually created their own private encampment and began living in a way that resembled a domesticated lifestyle.
How do women who exchange sex for drugs/commodities deal with pregnancy? Are there healthcare options for those who become pregnant while addicted or homeless?
Righteous Dopefiend: Ch.1 - Intimate Apartheid
This opening chapter covers the first couple years of the ethnography. The ethnography is about the lives of homeless heroin users in San Francisco. Some of the observations made in the first year were that there seemed to be very few Blacks in the encampments. There were whites and a few Latinos. The authors discuss the transition of Blacks to San Francisco. According to them when the ship yards closed in the south many migrated to the west coast harbors for work. They also tended to live in these areas creating a community that is segregated from others. As the bayside communities became wealthier the black tenets had to move out. When blacks started to move into the primarily white encampments they kept to themselves. Which was fine with the Whites because the feared the Blacks would rob them. One of the encampment residents, Hank, believed that Black people had a lot of kids elsewhere in the city that they collected welfare on. So they were considered better off than the whites. The fears of the Whites regarding Blacks was unfounded. According to the authors, looking back on their first year there were no real incidents of robbing or mugging that occurred. In fact, most of the people who tried to help these men were Blacks. The men in this particular area were mostly middle-aged and non-violent. It was in the second year that Bourgois and Schonberg saw an influx of Black in the encampment which subsequently caused most of the whites to move to a new location. This kind of segregation is a reflection of what the authors call "Intimate Apartheid'. It is the predictable manner that segregation and conflict are evident and enacted in everyday practices.
Righteous Dopefiend: Ch. 2 - Falling in Love
Bourgois and Schonberg use this chapter to explore the life of a homeless female drug user. It is rare to have a woman living in an encampment. Tina is a woman who lives in the black encampment with Carter. It is believed by the homeless men that it is hard for a woman to live that kind of lifestyle. The authors note that there is a lot of violence against women on the city's peripheral. Tina sits down for various interviews. Her life story is riddled with early sexual abuse. There have been studies done that draw strong connections between early sexual abuse and sex working as an adult. The experience Tina had led her to have a different perspective on relationships. To her, relationships are largely reciprocal. The worth of all her relationships with men are measured by what benefits it gives, or what gifts they can give her. Though she never considered herself a prostitute, she does recall many times where she has traded sex for cigarettes, bus far, alcohol and of course, drugs. In her current situation she has given using sex as a commodity and relies on Carter to bring home the goods. The authors then follow them through a series of courtship events. They reflect on Tina assuming the role of homemakers by arranging their camp into a kind of home. I feel that this chapter is meant to give a very humanistic light to the lives of homeless drug users. They still have the same desires. They desire safety, love and affection.
1. Why hasn't heroin gripped the Black community as it has Whites?
2. Did the authors spend night there? Did they have an apartment nearby?
3. The authors evaluate the social forces that pushed them out of the ship yard neighborhoods. But what are the social forces behind the White homeless?