Righteous Dopefiend


Product Details

University of California Press
Publish Date
May 01, 2009
7.16 X 0.9 X 9.44 inches | 2.23 pounds
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About the Author

Philippe Bourgois is Richard Perry University Professor of Anthropology and Family and Community Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania.

Jeff Schonberg is a photographer and a graduate student in medical anthropology at the University of California, San Francisco.


"One of the most original and important works of its kind. . . . A pathbreaking photo-ethnography, powerful in presentation, content and scope. . . . A must-read, [it] will rock the world of the sheltered middle class and shed new light on the pervasive structural inequalities plaguing contemporary society."-- (10/04/2009)
"This book offers as complete and disturbing a view as can be had of just how awful and intractable street life in San Francisco can get."--San Francisco Chronicle (12/10/2009)
"With a combination of photographs, dialogue, field notes and critical theory, the book provides a detailed analysis of the social structure of an underground society in contemporary America."--Roof Magazine (05/01/2009)
"A deeply nuanced picture of a population that cannot escape social reprobation, but deserves social inclusion. . . . The collage of case studies, field notes, personal narratives and photography is nothing short of enthralling." - Starred Review--Publishers Weekly
"Get this book and read it. If you're interested in homelessness, addiction, or in the public health issues surrounding IV drug use, this is an excellent source of information. The authors treat their subject brilliantly and with great compassion. . . . These people walk by you every day and should not remain invisible."--San Francisco Bay Guardian
"Leaders and readers alike should pay attention to - and heed its warnings and advice. . . . Unflinching and objective. . . . Must be read - and seen."--San Francisco Chronicle
"The authors dare you to ignore the subculture in their field notes and arresting black-and-white images, urging that our failed social systems need repairing and we cannot continue to let these outliers remain invisible."--Utne Reader
"Truly remarkable."--Arena Magazine
"Bourgois and Schonberg's exceptional ethnography produces a deep sense of how life is lived in these terrible and precarious circumstances. But the book is much more than written description, with its sophisticated used of photography and the theoretical perspective that forms a backdrop for the ethnography."--American Journal of Sociology
"Powerfully candid."--Zocalo Public Square