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In Search of Respect: Selling Crack in El Barrio

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In Search of Respect: Selling Crack in El Barrio. Phillippe Bourgois. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1995. xvi + 392 pp., figures, notes, references, index.
Review
Reviewed Work(s): In Search of Respect: Selling Crack in El Barrio by Philippe Bourgois
Review by: David Nugent
Source:
American Ethnologist,
Vol. 24, No. 3 (Aug., 1997), pp. 685-687
Published by: Wiley on behalf of the American Anthropological Association
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American Ethnologist
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figures, tables, notes, appendixes, contribu-
tors, references, index.
JOHN H. STINSON-FERNANDEZ
Universidad de Puerto Rico, Rio Piedras
Reading this book edited by Judith Freidenberg
turned out to be a double joy. On the one hand, it
gave me the opportunity to read the last published
work by fellow-Puerto Rican anthropologist Rosa
M. Torruellas, who died at an early age, leaving be-
hind a legacy of intellectual and political work and
commitment. On the other hand, this book is of
profound personal interest because I am presently
working on the themes of cultural change, develop-
ment strategies, and urban anthropology in Puerto
Rico.
The book consists of 16 essays, all related to eth-
nographic work in East Harlem. Some of the contri-
butions, like those by Helen Safa and Patricia
Fernandez-Kelly, explore the diverse economic and
cultural realities of native Hispanic origin that now
exist in the city. Other works attempt to approach
the ethnographic problem from a more theoretical
viewpoint. Delmos Jones, for example, offers a criti-
cal interpretation of anthropological theory from
the context of research in urban communities that
manifest generalized poverty. He eloquently warns
about the problem of ignoring the complexity of
capitalism itself when conducting this type of re-
search. June Nash's fitting commentary to the pa-
pers develops a refreshing link among the different
experiences in ethnographic work presented by
each of the authors. Freidenberg's admirable edito-
rial work accomplishes the often difficult task of in-
tegrating the varied perspectives of the contributors
into a central argument.
This anthology is divided into two parts. The first
is an attempt to establish the methodological impor-
tance of anthropology for the study of typical con-
temporary problems of urban life, poverty, and the
social and political decline that results from failed
traditional development strategies implemented by
local and federal governments. It consists of several
essays that, in a varied but unified way, describe
and analyze the ethnosocial history of East Harlem
communities. This historical retelling is done from
different perspectives. Helen Safa emphasizes the
particularities of Puerto Rican migration by turning
her attention to the development strategy known as
Operation Bootstrap. She highlights women's par-
ticipation as employees-especially in the sewing
industry-on both sides of the ocean and examines
cultural change in Puerto Rican society and the so-
cioeconomic contradictions produced by the de-
velopment model that was implemented during an
expansion period. The work of Philippe Bourgois
offers a detailed ethnography of drug-dealing activi-
ties and their true political-economic dimension.
Bourgois's collection of anecdotes about the evi-
dent contradictions in visions of the "American
dream" is brilliant. In the lively interviews he in-
cludes, participants comment on daily life. Through
these comments, Bourgois challenges the vague
generalizations that are frequently presented by the
media and politicians alike.
figures, tables, notes, appendixes, contribu-
tors, references, index.
JOHN H. STINSON-FERNANDEZ
Universidad de Puerto Rico, Rio Piedras
Reading this book edited by Judith Freidenberg
turned out to be a double joy. On the one hand, it
gave me the opportunity to read the last published
work by fellow-Puerto Rican anthropologist Rosa
M. Torruellas, who died at an early age, leaving be-
hind a legacy of intellectual and political work and
commitment. On the other hand, this book is of
profound personal interest because I am presently
working on the themes of cultural change, develop-
ment strategies, and urban anthropology in Puerto
Rico.
The book consists of 16 essays, all related to eth-
nographic work in East Harlem. Some of the contri-
butions, like those by Helen Safa and Patricia
Fernandez-Kelly, explore the diverse economic and
cultural realities of native Hispanic origin that now
exist in the city. Other works attempt to approach
the ethnographic problem from a more theoretical
viewpoint. Delmos Jones, for example, offers a criti-
cal interpretation of anthropological theory from
the context of research in urban communities that
manifest generalized poverty. He eloquently warns
about the problem of ignoring the complexity of
capitalism itself when conducting this type of re-
search. June Nash's fitting commentary to the pa-
pers develops a refreshing link among the different
experiences in ethnographic work presented by
each of the authors. Freidenberg's admirable edito-
rial work accomplishes the often difficult task of in-
tegrating the varied perspectives of the contributors
into a central argument.
This anthology is divided into two parts. The first
is an attempt to establish the methodological impor-
tance of anthropology for the study of typical con-
temporary problems of urban life, poverty, and the
social and political decline that results from failed
traditional development strategies implemented by
local and federal governments. It consists of several
essays that, in a varied but unified way, describe
and analyze the ethnosocial history of East Harlem
communities. This historical retelling is done from
different perspectives. Helen Safa emphasizes the
particularities of Puerto Rican migration by turning
her attention to the development strategy known as
Operation Bootstrap. She highlights women's par-
ticipation as employees-especially in the sewing
industry-on both sides of the ocean and examines
cultural change in Puerto Rican society and the so-
cioeconomic contradictions produced by the de-
velopment model that was implemented during an
expansion period. The work of Philippe Bourgois
offers a detailed ethnography of drug-dealing activi-
ties and their true political-economic dimension.
Bourgois's collection of anecdotes about the evi-
dent contradictions in visions of the "American
dream" is brilliant. In the lively interviews he in-
cludes, participants comment on daily life. Through
these comments, Bourgois challenges the vague
generalizations that are frequently presented by the
media and politicians alike.
Particularly noteworthy is Judith Freidenberg's
essay. She emphasizes the methodological prob-
lems met by anthropologists when they intervene in
communities sharply segregated by class or ethnic-
ity. The author points out that work with impover-
ished communities has been overburdened with
quantitative interpretations that tend to silence fur-
ther those who live in poverty and under political
oppression. She suggests that no single methodo-
logical approach should be favored-be it quantita-
tive or qualitative. Instead the reality under study re-
quires multiple methodological approaches in
order to understand fully the implications of public
policy. Her real concern for making anthropologi-
cal research and publication pertinent to contem-
porary society-particularly for the subjects of
study-is inspiring.
The second part of the book is a call for a re-
newed political dimension that anthropology must
recover, should we want our scientific work to be
taken into account when looking for potential solu-
tions to the serious problems that afflict modern so-
ciety. All the authors concur on the need for anthro-
pological research to incorporate and reflect the
reality of those who become objects of study, and
to enable such research to "belong" to the latter.
In this part the authors discuss the comparative
study of particular communities-East Harlem, for
instance-within wide sociological spheres (stuch
as capitalism at a national level). The contributors
agree on the need to elaborate the relationship be-
tween the problems researched, anthropological
methodologies appropriate to problems of poverty
and marginality, and the quest for alternative vi-
sions and models for the promotion of sociocultural
change. In a chapter that best expresses this goal,
Rosa M. Torruellas introduces her objective with
these words: "It will show the potential of ethno-
graphic analysis in elaborating alternative under-
standings of the lived experience of poor and op-
pressed peoples in the United States" (p. 177). The
methodological approach used by Torruellas-hav-
ing the groups of participant women define the pa-
rameters of the interviews, the analytical categories,
and the scope of this investigation based on their
own life experiences-is masterful for this purpose.
Torruellas's essay is an encouraging lesson in an-
thropology, as well as a call to address the most
pressing and urgent question: what are the neces-
sary tools for the making of a more equitable soci-
ety? To this I must add: what must we anthropolo-
gists do in order to reach this goal?
This volume is a celebration of the best that social
and cultural anthropology has to offer. It is a call for
retrospection within the discipline so that we may
redefine our roles as scientists and as voices de-
voted to cultural and social change in the quest for
a more evenhanded society. It is, after all, our an-
thropological endeavor that has taught us that hu-
man action produces the terms for social existence
and, therefore, that this action must contain within
itself the formula for changing those very conditions
of existence.
In Search of Respect: Selling Crack in El Bar-
rio. PHILIPPE BOURGOIS. Cambridge: Cam-
Particularly noteworthy is Judith Freidenberg's
essay. She emphasizes the methodological prob-
lems met by anthropologists when they intervene in
communities sharply segregated by class or ethnic-
ity. The author points out that work with impover-
ished communities has been overburdened with
quantitative interpretations that tend to silence fur-
ther those who live in poverty and under political
oppression. She suggests that no single methodo-
logical approach should be favored-be it quantita-
tive or qualitative. Instead the reality under study re-
quires multiple methodological approaches in
order to understand fully the implications of public
policy. Her real concern for making anthropologi-
cal research and publication pertinent to contem-
porary society-particularly for the subjects of
study-is inspiring.
The second part of the book is a call for a re-
newed political dimension that anthropology must
recover, should we want our scientific work to be
taken into account when looking for potential solu-
tions to the serious problems that afflict modern so-
ciety. All the authors concur on the need for anthro-
pological research to incorporate and reflect the
reality of those who become objects of study, and
to enable such research to "belong" to the latter.
In this part the authors discuss the comparative
study of particular communities-East Harlem, for
instance-within wide sociological spheres (stuch
as capitalism at a national level). The contributors
agree on the need to elaborate the relationship be-
tween the problems researched, anthropological
methodologies appropriate to problems of poverty
and marginality, and the quest for alternative vi-
sions and models for the promotion of sociocultural
change. In a chapter that best expresses this goal,
Rosa M. Torruellas introduces her objective with
these words: "It will show the potential of ethno-
graphic analysis in elaborating alternative under-
standings of the lived experience of poor and op-
pressed peoples in the United States" (p. 177). The
methodological approach used by Torruellas-hav-
ing the groups of participant women define the pa-
rameters of the interviews, the analytical categories,
and the scope of this investigation based on their
own life experiences-is masterful for this purpose.
Torruellas's essay is an encouraging lesson in an-
thropology, as well as a call to address the most
pressing and urgent question: what are the neces-
sary tools for the making of a more equitable soci-
ety? To this I must add: what must we anthropolo-
gists do in order to reach this goal?
This volume is a celebration of the best that social
and cultural anthropology has to offer. It is a call for
retrospection within the discipline so that we may
redefine our roles as scientists and as voices de-
voted to cultural and social change in the quest for
a more evenhanded society. It is, after all, our an-
thropological endeavor that has taught us that hu-
man action produces the terms for social existence
and, therefore, that this action must contain within
itself the formula for changing those very conditions
of existence.
In Search of Respect: Selling Crack in El Bar-
rio. PHILIPPE BOURGOIS. Cambridge: Cam-
reviews 685 reviews 685
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bridge University Press, 1995. xvi + 392 pp.,
figures, notes, references, index.
DAVID NUCENT
Colby College
This is an important, disturbing, and engrossing
ethnography of inner-city street culture, drug use,
and internalized oppression in the context of the ur-
ban decay of late capitalism. One of the great
strengths of the book is that it is based on truly re-
markable fieldwork. Indeed, Bourgois's intimate
understanding of his research subjects and the lives
they live allows him to deorientalize an entire
world that remains dangerously "othered" for most
of American society. It also allows him to pose in-
novative solutions to difficu It theoretical questions.
The introduction frames the book's theoretical
and practical concerns. The author is especially in-
terested in what he calls" 'inner-city street culture':
a complex and conflictual web of beliefs, symbols,
modes of interaction, values, and ideologies that
have emerged in opposition to exclusion from
mainstream society" (p. 8). The author conceives of
"street culture" as a form of resistance (p. 8), but not
as "a coherent, conscious universe of political op-
position" (p. 8). Rather, implicitly invoking Gram-
scian theory, he sees "street culture" as beset by
contradictions; because illegal enterprise forms the
material base of street culture and because this ille-
gal activity involves people in "violence, substance
abuse, and internalized rage" (p. 9), "street culture...
is predicated on the destruction of its participants
and the community harboring them" (p. 9). Much of
the book is devoted to showing how those who are
a part of street culture internalize and reproduce the
structures, values, and beliefs that oppress them,
even as they resist domination by mainstream social
processes.
A second major concern of the book is the poli-
tics of representation. While the author is quite con-
cerned that the disturbing material he presents will
be misread as negative stereotypes of Puerto Ri-
cans, or as a hostile portrait of the poor, he none-
theless feels that countering middle-class bias to-
ward the poor should not come at the expense of
sanitizing existing conditions. He therefore "con-
fronts the contradictions of the politics of repre-
sentation of social marginalization ... by present-
ing brutal events, uncensored as [he] experienced
them, or as they were narrated to [him], by the per-
petrators themselves" (p. 12).
A third major concern of the book is the relation
between structure and agency, "that is, the relation-
ship between individual responsibility and social
structural constraints" (p. 17). Expressing discomfort
both with overly structural political-economic
analyses as well as with individual, psychologizing
approaches, Bourgois emphasizes "the interface
between structural oppression and individual ac-
tion. Building on the analytic framework of cultural
production theory and drawing from feminism," he
explains, "I hope to restore the agency of culture,
the autonomy of individuals, and the centrality of
gender and the domestic sphere to a political-eco-
nomic understanding of... persistent poverty and
social marginalization in the urban United States"
(p. 12).
The author also shows an impressive awareness
of reflexive concerns-particularly the ways in
which his own presence as a privileged member of
the elite affected what he learned, the social arenas
to which he gained access, the people with whom
he established rapport, and why they responded to
him as they did. Rather than dwell exclusively on
reflexive considerations, however, the author uses
reflexive insights to bolster the broader arguments
of the book concerning the political-economic
forces constraining poor people's lives, and the fact
that their resistance to these forces comes at the cost
of internalizing values and orientations that contrib-
ute to their own marginalization.
The bulk of the book consists of a detailed eth-
nography of the everyday lives of crack dealers in
East Harlem and the "street culture of resistance" to
which they have helped give birth. The early chap-
ters focus on the broad, structural forces and the
dominant institutions that help maintain apartheid
in the United States, while the later chapters em-
phasize how these exclusionary processes affect the
inhabitants of East Harlem. Thus chapter 2 situates
the contemporary predicament of East Harlem resi-
dents in the historic transformation of New York
City's economy from manufacturing to service in-
dustry employment. Chapter 4 examines the cul-
tural and material factors underlying poor Puerto
Ricans' lack of success in penetrating the new ser-
vice industry world as low-level employees. Chap-
ter 5 analyzes the responses of poor Puerto Ricans
to the public school, where "middle-class defini-
tions of appropriate cultural capital and symbolic
violence come crashing down on a working class,
Puerto Rican child" (p. 177), pushing children to-
ward "street culture's alternative to school-the
peer group or... gang" (p. 174).
Chapters 6-8 focus on changing gender-power
relations and the transformations in family arrange-
ments that have occurred with the shift from
Fordism to flexible accumulation-the disappear-
ance of the family wage, the disintegration of the
nuclear family, and the consequent physical, emo-
tional, and moral turmoil for women, men, and
children. These chapters employ extensive quota-
tion from the author's rich field interviews and ob-
servations to convey in graphic terms how people
in East Harlem have resisted, contested, and acqui-
esced to the life circumstances in which they have
found themselves. The author thus shows the exten-
sive participation in and reproduction of the brutal
forces that oppress them by the poor, even as he
renders this participation comprehensible by locat-
ing the poor within the most brutal of social condi-
tions. Structure and agency are seen as dialectically
related and engaged.
Despite the many important strengths of In
Search of Respect, there are flaws to the work. A
considerable literature has developed on the urban
poor in the United States, but little of this literature
is discussed in the book, making it difficult to locate
the work with respect to existing scholarship. For
example, Bourgois argues that the "respect" of
which East Harlem residents are in search is rooted
in their Puerto Rican culture of origin, transplanted
686 american ethnologist
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and adapted to the changed conditions of El Barrio
in the present era of flexible accumulation. Never-
theless, other authors have discussed elements of
an oppositional street culture among non-Puerto
Rican inhabitants of the inner city, whose cultural
roots do not include Puerto Rico, but who are
nonetheless involved in a search for respect. A con-
sideration of this comparative material would have
added depth to the author's arguments about struc-
ture, agency, and cultural production.
A second point concerns the politics of repre-
sentation. Bourgois's rationale for presenting brutal,
uncensored accounts of what he experienced is
thoroughly convincing. As he points out on page
10, however, in addition to crack dealers, there is a
much larger population inhabiting East Harlem that
has little relation to the world described in the
book. These people want nothing to do with street
culture. They condemn it, shield themselves and
their children from it, and (as other authors have
shown) develop alternative forms of practice and
association that contest street culture. Because the
author tells us nothing about this alternative world,
his account does indeed run the risk of negatively
stereotyping life in El Barrio-even if the aspects of
life described so thoroughly and analyzed so in-
sightfully are very important ones.
In other words, one senses that the author could
have more fully conceptualized the appropriate
"unit of analysis." Is there a theoretical rationale for
focusing so exclusively on crack dealers and the
"street culture of resistance"? The author provides
part of such a rationale (" 'street culture' is dispro-
portionately important relative to the overall popu-
lation because it dominates public space."). Locat-
ing "street culture" more fully in relation to existing
work on the urban poor, and in relation to other
currents of life in El Barrio, would have helped cor-
rect this problem.
These points aside, In Search of Respect is an im-
pressive and important book. The author has made
a major contribution to our understanding of the
inner city, to the relation between structure and
agency, and to the process by which cultures of re-
sistance incorporate contradictory elements that
help reproduce the conditions of their own domination.
Between Reform and Revolution: Political
Struggles in the Peruvian Andes, 1969-1991.
LINDA J. SELIGMANN. Stanford, CA: Stanford
University Press, 1995. xiv + 268 pp., figures,
maps, photographs, appendixes, notes, refer-
ences, index.
LYNN STEPHEN
Northeastern University
Between Reform and Revolution is one of the
best sources for understanding the kinds of rural di-
visions and processes of differentiation that proved
to be fertile ground for the Sendero Luminoso's sup-
port in the Andean countryside of Peru. Working
back and forth between both the influence of state-
building through the implementation of agrarian re-
form, and its appropriation and reinterpretation by
local people in communities and cooperatives,
and adapted to the changed conditions of El Barrio
in the present era of flexible accumulation. Never-
theless, other authors have discussed elements of
an oppositional street culture among non-Puerto
Rican inhabitants of the inner city, whose cultural
roots do not include Puerto Rico, but who are
nonetheless involved in a search for respect. A con-
sideration of this comparative material would have
added depth to the author's arguments about struc-
ture, agency, and cultural production.
A second point concerns the politics of repre-
sentation. Bourgois's rationale for presenting brutal,
uncensored accounts of what he experienced is
thoroughly convincing. As he points out on page
10, however, in addition to crack dealers, there is a
much larger population inhabiting East Harlem that
has little relation to the world described in the
book. These people want nothing to do with street
culture. They condemn it, shield themselves and
their children from it, and (as other authors have
shown) develop alternative forms of practice and
association that contest street culture. Because the
author tells us nothing about this alternative world,
his account does indeed run the risk of negatively
stereotyping life in El Barrio-even if the aspects of
life described so thoroughly and analyzed so in-
sightfully are very important ones.
In other words, one senses that the author could
have more fully conceptualized the appropriate
"unit of analysis." Is there a theoretical rationale for
focusing so exclusively on crack dealers and the
"street culture of resistance"? The author provides
part of such a rationale (" 'street culture' is dispro-
portionately important relative to the overall popu-
lation because it dominates public space."). Locat-
ing "street culture" more fully in relation to existing
work on the urban poor, and in relation to other
currents of life in El Barrio, would have helped cor-
rect this problem.
These points aside, In Search of Respect is an im-
pressive and important book. The author has made
a major contribution to our understanding of the
inner city, to the relation between structure and
agency, and to the process by which cultures of re-
sistance incorporate contradictory elements that
help reproduce the conditions of their own domination.
Between Reform and Revolution: Political
Struggles in the Peruvian Andes, 1969-1991.
LINDA J. SELIGMANN. Stanford, CA: Stanford
University Press, 1995. xiv + 268 pp., figures,
maps, photographs, appendixes, notes, refer-
ences, index.
LYNN STEPHEN
Northeastern University
Between Reform and Revolution is one of the
best sources for understanding the kinds of rural di-
visions and processes of differentiation that proved
to be fertile ground for the Sendero Luminoso's sup-
port in the Andean countryside of Peru. Working
back and forth between both the influence of state-
building through the implementation of agrarian re-
form, and its appropriation and reinterpretation by
local people in communities and cooperatives,
Seligmann offers a nuanced and detailed historical
and ethnographic picture of the contradictory re-
sults of one of the most ambitious agrarian reforms
in Latin America. Through the lens of the district of
Huanoquite in the Department of Cuzco, Peru, she
highlights the multiple levels of contradictions writ
large in local land histories.
As in any agrarian reform, historical bat-
tles-with all their attendant positions and multiple
interpretations projecting the past through the pres-
ent-come alive as the people of Huanoquite posi-
tion themselves to take advantage of a radical-
sounding reform. The agrarian reform promoted
under General Juan Velasco Alvarado in 1969 was
supposed to promote agricultural development by
transforming landed states in the highlands and on
the coasts into cooperative enterprises. In the pro-
cess, the return of land to those who worked it was
also aimed at dissolving highland indigenous iden-
tity and promoting the formation of national Peru-
vian identity. In their efforts to engage with the rural
reform, Huanoquitefos mobilized history as a
framework for changing the future. The outstanding
feature of Seligmann's work is her attention to detail
and the wonderful way in which she demonstrates
how 500 years of history (and sometimes more) is
given new life and meaning in struggles generated
from the land reform. A case in point is Tito, a man
of Quechua and Spanish descent who ends up ally-
ing himself with one-half of an old Inca moiety in
opposition to the other half in order to hold onto
some of his private estate. In the process he rein-
vents himself as a humble peasant, and his reinven-
tion is adopted and legitimized by people in an
ayllu who have formerly detested him. The "tradi-
tion" of the ayllu is manipulated by people on all
sides of the dispute. Seligmann is quite effective in
showing how this and other "traditional" institu-
tions are not necessarily sites of resistance, but can
also become sites of manipulation and integration.
Seligmann's insights-and the value of the book
for an understanding of the terrain created for both
the Sendero and an authoritarian Peruvian state in
the 1980s-consist in the multiple perspectives that
she brings to her exploration of both the impact and
the interpretation of the land reform. Through inter-
views with judges, bureaucrats, and peasants, she
demonstrates that the contradictory objectives of
the reform-more equitable distribution of income
between rural and urban sectors on the one hand,
and the generation of economic productivity in the
countryside to foster greater economic growth on
the other-were its downfall. She suggests that the
constantly changing and contradictory agrarian re-
form policy never addressed the needs of the major-
ity of peasants, and was a major factor behind the
civil war in Peru between the state and the Maoist-
Leninist Shining Path guerilla movement. Because
the varied social, political, and productive relation-
ships of the countryside were not considered, and
because the law imposed a universal vision of hu-
man categories, the reform policies not only failed
but also set up irrevocable contradictions of which
Sendero took advantage.
A key issue in Seligmann's analysis concerns the
ways in which the reform created expectations of
access to political power. Most local leaders were
Seligmann offers a nuanced and detailed historical
and ethnographic picture of the contradictory re-
sults of one of the most ambitious agrarian reforms
in Latin America. Through the lens of the district of
Huanoquite in the Department of Cuzco, Peru, she
highlights the multiple levels of contradictions writ
large in local land histories.
As in any agrarian reform, historical bat-
tles-with all their attendant positions and multiple
interpretations projecting the past through the pres-
ent-come alive as the people of Huanoquite posi-
tion themselves to take advantage of a radical-
sounding reform. The agrarian reform promoted
under General Juan Velasco Alvarado in 1969 was
supposed to promote agricultural development by
transforming landed states in the highlands and on
the coasts into cooperative enterprises. In the pro-
cess, the return of land to those who worked it was
also aimed at dissolving highland indigenous iden-
tity and promoting the formation of national Peru-
vian identity. In their efforts to engage with the rural
reform, Huanoquitefos mobilized history as a
framework for changing the future. The outstanding
feature of Seligmann's work is her attention to detail
and the wonderful way in which she demonstrates
how 500 years of history (and sometimes more) is
given new life and meaning in struggles generated
from the land reform. A case in point is Tito, a man
of Quechua and Spanish descent who ends up ally-
ing himself with one-half of an old Inca moiety in
opposition to the other half in order to hold onto
some of his private estate. In the process he rein-
vents himself as a humble peasant, and his reinven-
tion is adopted and legitimized by people in an
ayllu who have formerly detested him. The "tradi-
tion" of the ayllu is manipulated by people on all
sides of the dispute. Seligmann is quite effective in
showing how this and other "traditional" institu-
tions are not necessarily sites of resistance, but can
also become sites of manipulation and integration.
Seligmann's insights-and the value of the book
for an understanding of the terrain created for both
the Sendero and an authoritarian Peruvian state in
the 1980s-consist in the multiple perspectives that
she brings to her exploration of both the impact and
the interpretation of the land reform. Through inter-
views with judges, bureaucrats, and peasants, she
demonstrates that the contradictory objectives of
the reform-more equitable distribution of income
between rural and urban sectors on the one hand,
and the generation of economic productivity in the
countryside to foster greater economic growth on
the other-were its downfall. She suggests that the
constantly changing and contradictory agrarian re-
form policy never addressed the needs of the major-
ity of peasants, and was a major factor behind the
civil war in Peru between the state and the Maoist-
Leninist Shining Path guerilla movement. Because
the varied social, political, and productive relation-
ships of the countryside were not considered, and
because the law imposed a universal vision of hu-
man categories, the reform policies not only failed
but also set up irrevocable contradictions of which
Sendero took advantage.
A key issue in Seligmann's analysis concerns the
ways in which the reform created expectations of
access to political power. Most local leaders were
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This updated second edition of Mark Moberg’s lively book offers a fresh look at the history of anthropological theory. Covering key concepts and theorists, Engaging Anthropological Theory examines the historical context of anthropological ideas and the contested nature of anthropology itself. Anthropological ideas regarding human diversity have always been rooted in the sociopolitical conditions in which they arose and exploring them in context helps students understand how and why they evolved, and how theory relates to life and society. Illustrated throughout, this engaging text moves away from the dry recitation of past viewpoints in anthropology and brings the subject matter to life.
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Mit diesem Band sollen wichtige Texte der Stadtforschung einem breiten Publikum vorgestellt werden, das sich für heutige und zukünftige Fragen der Stadtentwicklung interessiert. Es werden vor allem Texte aus den Sozial- und Kulturwissenschaften vorgestellt, die in den letzten zwei Jahrzenten in den stadtbezogenen Diskursen eine große Rolle gespielt haben und die unser Denken über die Stadt maßgeblich beeinflusst haben. Die Schlüsselwerke der Stadtforschung ermöglichen den Lesern einen Einblick in die verschiedenen Themen, theoretischen Ansätze und Forschungskontroversen, die in der aktuellen Diskussion um das Leben in der Stadt wichtig erscheinen. Damit soll somit sowohl der professionellen Auseinandersetzung als auch der interessierten Öffentlichkeit insgesamt ein transdisziplinärer Einblick in die Komplexität der urbanen Gesellschaft ermöglicht werden. Der Inhalt • Die spätmoderne Stadt • Transformierte Materialität • Grenzen der Urbanität • Marginalisierte Stadt-Perspektiven • Stadt als Polis Die Zielgruppen Studierende der Architektur, Geographie, Stadtplanung, Raumwissenschaften und Sozial- und Kulturwissenschaften Der Herausgeber Dr. Frank Eckardt ist Professor für Sozialwissenschaftliche Stadtforschung am Institut für Europäische Urbanistik der Bauhaus-Universität Weimar.
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Nur wenigen StadtanthropologInnen gelingt das, was die ethnographische Arbeit von Philippe Bourgois auszeichnet: Seit nahezu 30 Jahren legt er dichte Beschreibungen vom Leben marginalisierter Menschen vor, setzt sich für sie wissenschaftlich fundiert ein und engagiert sich für eine sozial gerechtere (Stadt-)Gesellschaft. Im dichten Austausch mit Obdachlosen, DrogennutzerInnen, CrackdealerInnen und auch PlantagenarbeiterInnen – um einige der zentralen ProtagonistInnen seiner Bücher zu nennen – zeichnet Bourgois die gewaltvollen Effekte institutionalisierter sozialer Ungleichheit nach, wie sie im Leben der von ihm Beforschten greifbar werden. US-amerikanische Städte versteht er dabei als paradigmatische Orte gesellschaftlicher Segregation (Bourgois, 1995, 2010).
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Mas alla de los Estados-naciones existen sociedades de inmigrantes. Alain Tarrius. La forma territorial historica del Estado-nacion, organizada por las grandes instituciones politicas economicas y sociales, es hoy el objeto de una renegociacion por parte de los colectivos de inmigrantes que dicen « etnicos ». Estos ultimos desarrollan, a distancia, codigos, leyes y reglamentaciones a proposito de intercambios economicos internacionales e iniciativas comerciales colectivas de gran envergadura. Las fuertes solidaridades que preceden y permiten estos despliegues invierten las problematicas de la mundializacion y sugieren la existencia de otro proceso de globalizacion, donde los lazos sociales fuertes no resultan secundarios, « encajados » en las continuidades y complementariedades dependientes en primer lugar de competencias tecnicas. Estas iniciativas economicas colectivas, asociadas con la gestacion de territorios otros transversales a los Estados-naciones, han engendrado nuevas relaciones sociales cuya singularidad consiste en borrar a las jerarquias de las precedencias sedentarias locales, que legitimaban las identidades. Estas ceden el paso al « saber-circular », a las pertenencias multiples. De este modo territorios originales surgen y dibujan los contornos fluidos, moviles, de sociedades de inmigrantes estructuradas, afirmando de una forma cada vez mas evidente el poder del nomada sobre el sedentario en el seno de nuestras viejas sociedades de la estabilidad del arraigo al sitio. Asi emergen de los alrededores de Europa confines obscuros donde normas y leyes son negociadas, transgredidas, todo ello sobre la base de las incertidumbres que acompanan la inadaptacion de los Estados-naciones para llevar bien la gestio de sus sociedades entre el espacio-mundo, el espacio europeo - Schengen - y los espacios regionales. El articulo describe estas nuevas formaciones sociales a partir del testimonio de las investigaciones realizadas por su autor desde 1995, de Marsella al Magreb y por las carreteras espanolas. Nos informa sobre la originalidad de los estatutos de las jerarquias que nacen de estas formaciones, de las naturaleza de las redes, abiertas o mafiosas, que las atraviesan, de los efectos en terminos de civilizacion de los acuerdos que se fundan sobre la palabra dada, de las explotaciones sordidas que albergan y de las nuevas fronteras que instituyen.
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In this article, I examine the social networks of low-income Latin-American immigrant women living in public housing in the city of Boston, using a conceptual framework that differentiates social networks that offer support from those that yield leverage. This ethnographic analysis of participant observation and longitudinal ethnographic interviews carried over 4 years pays particular attention to how respondents generate social capital to obtain resources for social mobility. While heterogeneity in social networks emerged as the most significant factor in social mobility, findings suggest that leverage ties work more effectively to create opportunities when they act as bridges connecting the women to networks in higher levels of the social structure, and when the women have support towards advancement within their strong ties. Conversely, patriarchal family dynamics were the most significant factors preventing the formation and operation of mobility networks and leaving the women stagnated in survival. At a more general level, the longitudinal ethnographic nature of this study sheds light on the conditions affecting the mobility prospects of women who are members of the largest minority group in the United States but of whom little is known.
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