“Righteous Dopefiend”: Penn Anthropologist Philippe Bourgois Presents 10-Year Study of Living With Addicts


July 6, 2009


Philippe Bourgois, University of Pennsylvania professor, presents his anthropological and photographic study, “Righteous Dopefiend.” For more than a decade, Bourgois and photographer Jeff Schonberg followed 24 heroin injectors and crack smokers in their scramble for survival on the streets of San Francisco. The authors accompanied the homeless on their daily rounds and slept in their encampments. They record the painful details of violent childhoods and failed dreams and track the ongoing tumultuous lover affairs, conflicts, alliances and interpersonal hierarchies.

Bourgois will also discuss proposals for policy changes and service interventions and will offer a critique of how and why a rich nation like the United States has produced an intractable shelterless population condemned to lives of distress and useless suffering.


Bourgois is the Richard Perry University Professor of Anthropology and Family and Community Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania. He is also the author of “In Search of Respect: Selling Crack in El Barrio and Ethnicity at Work: Divided Labor on a Central American Banana Plantation.”


Tuesday, July 7, at 7 p.m.


Penn Bookstore, 3601 Walnut St.