In Search of Respect

In Search of Respect

Selling Crack in El Barrio

Book - 1996
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In this compelling study of the crack business in East Harlem, Philippe Bourgois argues that a cultural struggle for respect has led some residents of 'El Barrio' away from the legal job market, and into a downward spiral of crime and poverty. During his many years living in the neighborhood, Bourgois eventually gained the confianza of enough Barrio residents to present their hopes, plans, and disappointments in their own words. The result is an engaging and often disturbing look at the problems of the inner-city, America's greatest domestic failing.
Publisher: New York : Cambridge University Press, 1996
Edition: 1st pbk. ed
ISBN: 9780521574600
0521574609
Branch Call Number: 363.45 B773
363.45 B773
Characteristics: xii, 392 p. : ill. ; 23 cm

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Chinderixx
Feb 05, 2018

Sexual Content: References to abuse, sexual violence, and gang rape

c
Chinderixx
Feb 05, 2018

Other: Frequent drug use and references to drug dealings

c
Chinderixx
Feb 05, 2018

Coarse Language: Very Strong Language

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Chinderixx
Mar 06, 2018

In Search of Respect is hard to review. Like a lot of other things, there is a lot of good and bad things about it. This book is an in depth look at the lives of crack dealers living in the El Barrio neighborhood in New York. The author, Philippe Bourgois, befriends a group of Puerto Ricans that live in the neighborhood and learns how and why the people look for respect in other ways after becoming isolated and marginalized from society. It this part of the book that I found the most interesting. While I've never thought highly of people who sell drugs, commit crimes, and act violent (like those in the book) and still don't, I think that this book helped me get an understanding of the reasons why the characters did what they did. I think that it also helped me feel a lot less judgmental toward them.
While the book was interesting and educational, I found it difficult to read partially because of all the very strong language. While I knew that not everything was going to be censored (and the author purposefully did not cover up the character's profanities), it made it hard sometimes to try to sympathize with the dealers. This was similar for the abuse and violence shown toward the women in this book. So, while this may be sort of hard to read, I think it would be good for someone who is interested in the community and life of Puerto Ricans in El Barrio during the 1980s and for someone who wants to read something different but still very important.

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Chinderixx
Feb 05, 2018

Chinderixx thinks this title is suitable for 21 years and over

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