In Search of Respect: Selling Crack in El Barrio 18:21 Ch. 1-Research was taking place in Spanish Harlem-research almost came to an end when he disrespected Ray, an owner of a crack house-Ray confided in him -He later asked Felipe(his street name) if he wanted a Heineken instead of a Budweiser->big deal considering he had bought everyone else that and bought himself a Heineken-Felipe embarrassed Ray in front of everyone when he asked him to read a newspaper article because Ray cannot read. (pg. 21)-Ray then threatened him-Primo, Felipe’s friend, explained to him that what he did was really bad and that he should make himself scarce around the Game Room for the next couple weeks (pg. 23)-Primo tells Felipe of his childhood terror and then tells a story of how Ray and another guy raped a man. When Felipe tries to put the recorder away they say for him to document it-Juice=respect; Respect=power-regular displays of violence are crucial for running a good crackhouse; so no one ever tries to rip you off (pg. 24)-After weeks he was still not allowed back in because Ray had bad dreams about him->dreams in Puerto Rican culture were a big deal-Felipe sneaks around to talk to Primo and Caesar and has a crack dealer on the corner give them a signal when Ray comes-One day Ray came on foot and surprised them all->but he merely made a joke about how Felipe looked skinny and that his pants fit funny (pg. 27)-took him a year to regain his status again-Ray is culturally clueless and could never function properly in the normal economic world-“I felt as if I was infester with vermin…” pg. 29-undercover narcotic officer was not his biggest obstacle, but rather his white drug addict persona-white people buying drugs in that neighborhood is seen as wrong: police officers are huge dicks (pg. 31)-picked up the culture by the second year
This essay will explore the anthropological work of Philippe Bourgois's bookIn search of respect.The book is an ethnographic study of social marginalisation amongst a predominately Puerto Rican community living in El Barrio, a neighbourhood in East Harlem, New York. Bourgois spend five years living in the community and compiling his work on the lives of Puerto Rican drug dealers, their friends and girlfriends (Bourgois, 2003).
The essay will focus on how Bourgois has used both scientific and humanistic perspectives in his study and will outline the methods he has used to come to these perspectives. This will be done by first defining both the scientific and humanistic approaches; showing his reasons for undertaking this particular research and chosen methods of study; outline how he has examined cross cultural patterns and also looked at the specific patterns within El Barrio; show the naturalistic and emotive language he uses; and finally will come to the conclusion that Bourgois has used a dualistic approach of both methods and that overall he has encompassed a more humanistic element within his research.
The scientific approach is one that is primarily based upon the acquisition of objectives facts or reasons for why particular cultures function the way they do (Peoples & Bailey, 2009, pp. 79-90). Concepts are used within a framework of naturalistic language. It looks at the similarities and differences with changing cultures; how these are affected by the environment they are set in; examines cross cultural patterns; and based on the results, generates scientific generalizations.
The humanistic approach is based more upon interpreting the significance of the reasons why cultures function the way they do (Peoples & Bailey, 2009, pp. 79-90). It aims to gain an understanding of the subjective actions of the culture, particularly in a holistic or inter-dependent way. It looks at