Philippe Bourgois

Philippe Bourgois

Fellow: Awarded 2013
Field of Study: Anthropology and Cultural Studies

Competition: US & Canada

University of Pennsylvania

I am writing a photo-ethnographic book tentatively titled Cornered. The goal is to understand and render more visible the rising human cost of the historically toxic landscape of U.S. inner-city hypersegregation, poverty, and public/private infrastructural abandonment.  I just completed five years of fieldwork (2007–2012) in a violently-policed neighborhood dominated by open-air narcotics supermarkets.  This ethnography of everyday survival on a drug corner will analyze the emergence of increasingly distressed new subjectivities among vulnerable, inner-city, immigrant populations under the specific conditions of 21st-century poverty, characterized by hyperincarceration, rising socioeconomic inequalities, reductions in welfare and social service entitlements, and the mediation of minimal survival subsidies through the obstacle of obtaining clinical diagnoses of pathological disability that privilege interpersonal violence.  My books and edited volumes include In Search of Respect: Selling Crack in El Barrio (Cambridge, 1995), Righteous Dopefiend (co-authored with Jeff Schonberg, University of California, 2009), Ethnicity at Work: Divided Labor on a Central American Banana Plantation (Johns Hopkins, 1989) and Violence in War and Peace (co-edited with Nancy Scheper-Hughes, Blackwell 2004).  I am the Richard Perry University Professor of Anthropology and Family and Community Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania.

Profile photograph by Lisa Godfrey.

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