Street Addicts in the Political Economy cover image

Street Addicts in the Political Economy

By Alisse Waterston
Temple University Press


In this book, Alisse Waterston reveals the economic, political, and ideological forces that shape the nature of street-addict life. Disputing the view that hard-core, low-income drug users are social margins situated in deviant subcultures, the author dispels popular images of the mythic, dark dope fiend haunting our city streets. Using dramatic, first-person accounts from New York City addicts, Waterston analyzes their position in the social structure, the kind of work both legal and illegal they perform, and their relations with family, friends, and lovers. She presents a moving account of daily life from the addict's point of view and demonstrates how addicts are structurally vulnerable to the larger sociocultural system within which they live. Waterston seeks to connect micro-, or street-level, ethnographic data with macro-level understanding of the political economy. In addition, she attempts to extend social reproduction theory to redefine the social organization and social processes that characterize racial and ethnic relations, gender relations, relations centering on sexuality, and the social conception of drug use and users. Using ethnographic data, Waterston portrays addicts as members of the class of working poor that has emerged in New York City, especially in the past fifteen years. She describes how these people have been displaced by gentrification and the diversity within the group: men, women, black, white, Latino, homosexual, heterosexual, homeless, and housed. Alisse Waterston is Research Associate at the HIV Center for Clinical and Behavioral Studies at Columbia University. She is currently Visiting Associate Professor in the Graduate Faculty in Sociology at the New School for Social Research.

Related books

Addiction and change : how addictions develop and addicted people recover
Carlo C. DiClemente
Addiction and Change: How Addictions Develop and Addicted People Recover
Carlo C. DiClemente
David J. Nutt, Liam J. Nestor.
Addictive Behaviour: Molecules to Mankind: Perspectives on the Nature of Addiction
Adrian Bonner, James Waterhouse (eds.)
Addict in the House: A No-Nonsense Family Guide Through Addiction and Recovery
Robin Barnett EdD LCSW, Darren Kavinoky
Sex Addiction Help: The Ultimate Sex Addiction Recovery Guide
Jordan, C