Yale AIDS Colloquium Series (YACS) - Philippe Bourgois
Thursday, October 18, 2012 from 12:00 PM to 1:00 PM (EDT)
"Cultivating Rage in the US Inner City: Hyper-Incarceration, Subsidized Pathology and the Moral Economy of Violence After Welfare"
For the past four years, our drug sales block in the Puerto Rican corner of inner-city Philadelphia has been subject to a routinized whirlwind of shootings, stabbings and assaults. The narcotics industry filled the void left by deindustrialization turning the city's former factory district into an open-air narcotics supermarket staffed at the entry level by young Puerto Ricans serving primarily poor white injectors. A dynamic of embodied primitive accumulation kills, maims, disables or incarcerates most of this industry's entry-level employees and customers. Artificially high profit margins depend on coercion: 1) An inelastic demand for addictive products; 2) The scarcity effects of zero-tolerance policing; and 3) the brutality of wannabe monopoly drug lords in the absence of state-sanctioned legal recourse. With the end of welfare entitlements, social services attempts to subsidize vulnerable individuals by diagnosing scarred bodies and brains as proof of permanent cognitive disability in need of heavy pharmaceutical medications. An overdetermined habitus/subjectivity of rage carries material, social and psycho-dynamic valences. It insures success in the drug economy, social solidarity within shattered families and minimal income for the no-longer-worthy poor. It also propels hyper-incarceration, expands psychiatric diagnoses and opens secondary addiction markets for diverted prescription pills.
Philippe Bourgois is the Richard Perry University Professor of Anthropology and Family & Community Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania. He is the author of three books and several edited volumes, including "Righteous Dopefiend" (with J. Schonberg, 2009), and "In Search of Respect: Selling Crack in El Barrio" (1995). He has published over 150 articles on social inequality, concentrated urban poverty, violence, labor migration, ethnic conflict, homelessness, substance abuse and HIV.
Sponsored by CIRA, the Yale School of Public Health's Department of Epidemiology of Microbial Diseases, and Yale's Institution for Social and Policy Studies, the Yale AIDS Colloquium Series is an interdisciplinary academic forum for discussion of HIV/AIDS-related research and policy. CIRA's mission is to support the conduct of interdisciplinary research focused on the prevention of HIV infection and the reduction of negative consequences of HIV disease in vulnerable and underserved populations nationally and abroad.
When & Where
Center for Interdisciplinary Research on AIDS at Yale University
CIRA is supported by National Institute of Mental Health Grant No. P30MH062294.
Paul D. Cleary, Ph.D., Principal Investigator