Righteous Dopefiend Essay

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As laid out in “Righteous Dopefiend”, the lumpen Edgewater homeless community is very different than what is considered to be socially acceptable today. These people seem to be living in a different world than the one most of society lives in. Many people have never gotten the chance to get an inside look on how the other side lives - a band of dopefiends who are living on the streets, but who are also living as slaves to their addictions. Each of these people have different stories and came into this taboo lifestyles in a variety of ways. The question that many of us have is how so many people got wrapped up in this alternate lifestyle. Bourgois and Schonberg state that governmentality is a major force that effects the dopefiends. I agree with Bourgois and Schonberg that governmentality effects the lives of this community, but I believe that our government cannot single handedly be driving masses of people, beyond the Edgewater community, into addictions and homelessness. Governmentality goes beyond the effects that the government has upon a group of people. Governmentality can also be about how a person and their self governance can effect them. Self governance seems to be the reason that the people of the Edgewater homeless community are living this way. The main problems lie within themselves; not being able to take accountability for their own actions seems to be a common factor among each of the lumpen people observed by Bourgois and Schonberg. The ways of life of these people are different than those of what society considers normal in an almost endless number of ways. Bourgois and Schonberg observe what they initially believe to be homosexual relationships in the Edgewater community. After further observation, they find the relationships between pairs of men to be looked at as “normal” to the homeless community. The Edgewater people see nothing unusual

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