The Political and Emotional Economy of Violence in US Inner City Narcotics Markets


In this paper, lead author Philippe Bourgois describes how violence is distributed unequally across social contexts, and examines how ritual interaction chains in the inner city become disproportionately subject to forward panics of extreme violence because of public policy and socioeconomic conditions. Some of the aforementioned public policy and socioeconomic conditions include racist practices of law enforcement, mismanagement of unemployment and poverty rates, dysfunctional gun control laws, and narcotics profit margins that are artificially elevated by illegality. Bourgois goes on to connect these elements with other environmental factors to paint a comprehensive picture of violence in US inner city narcotics markets.

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