In Search of Respect, Philippe Bourgois's now-classic, ethnographic study of social marginalization in inner-city America, won critical acclaim after it was first published in 1995 and in 1997 was awarded the Margaret Mead Award. For the first time, an anthropologist had managed to gain the trust and long-term friendship of street-level drug dealers in one of the roughest ghetto neighborhoods in the United States - East Harlem. This new edition adds a prologue describing the major dynamics in America that have altered life on the streets of East Harlem in the six years since the first edition. Bourgois, in a new epilogue, brings up to date the stories of the people - Primo, Caesar, Luis, Tony, Candy - who readers come to know in this remarkable window onto the world of the inner-city drug trade.
Anthropologist Bourgois chose "addicts, thieves, and dealers to be best friends and acquaintances" during his three-and-one-half-year research residency in New York City's Spanish Harlem. This experience-packed account of social interactions and relations is the result of great amounts of time spent on the street, in crackhouses, and in the homes of East Harlem's residents, who are caught up in a constant struggle against personal powerlessness. A "wealth" of available drugs fosters major substance abuse that overlays and exacerbates the failure of individuals to overcome poverty and unsupportive if not outwardly antagonistic and racist power structures. Bourgois is not sanguine about the implementation of possible solutions to the not atypical plight of El Barrio's poverty-stricken (nonestablishment) people, who are too often self- or other-destructive in their often futile search for integrity. This look at a major inner-city problem is highly recommended for academic and larger public library social science collections.--Susanne W. Wood, SUNY Coll. of Technology, Alfred