Paper Sample on Righteous Dopefiend

Published: 2024-01-11
Paper Sample on Righteous Dopefiend
Type of paper:  Essay
Categories:  Discrimination Law Social issue Books
Pages: 5
Wordcount: 1203 words
11 min read


Righteous Dopefiend is an overall work for over a long duration of a study conducted by Philippe Bourgois and Jeff Schonberg. The ethnography acts as a sequential narrative specifying the lifetime of homeless drug addicts in search of a home in the streets of San Francisco. Edgewater Boulevard acts as the main setting of the book, including a reputable expressway shelter, and the immediate urban area. For a period of 12 years from (1994-2006), Schonberg and Bourgois entrenched themselves occasionally in the lives of the majority of crack smokers and homeless heroin injectors. Childhoods, alliances, survival strategies, love affairs, gender relations, conflict homelessness hierarchies, and ethnic polarization are some of the themes that are detailed and recorded to the readers in the entire chapters. The Righteous Dopefiend book links the feelings of fun, anxiety, banality, excitement, and violence features of the existence of the homeless.

Trust banner

Is your time best spent reading someone else’s essay? Get a 100% original essay FROM A CERTIFIED WRITER!

Inadequate Pathogenic Law Implementation

Schonberg and Bourgois highlight that despite their general extreme fortune, the United States breeds the majority of homeless drug addicts per annum due to the inadequate pathogenic law implementation, Socio-cultural chauvinism rooted in the culture and health facilities. The plot clearly and vividly discloses the communities’ negative humiliation of drug addicts via the certification of several interactions among non-homeless and homeless individuals. These authors partake an activist position in their literature work, their basic dispute being that drug misuse on the streets is not discussed in any strategy that offers a long-lasting solution. The majority of American agencies and institutions are mainly focused on capitalism instead of offering sufficient health amenities. The majority of the scholars are dedicated to capitalism instead of delivering rehabilitation support and sufficient health care that is vital for the homeless drug abusers to interrupt the series of deterioration. These homeless are observed as communal outcasts, who are merely accountable for their conditions.

Addiction and withdrawal surpass a mental behavior and are acutely exemplified at the cellular phase. It is therefore essential to understand this argument on Heroin addiction, where each of the body’s cell desires the opiate proteins for proper and normal functionality. Consequently, one of the major attributes of a moral dopefiend is to toil for heroin by all the means possible, by avoiding withdrawal signs and be in a position the function accordingly. Schonberg and Bourgois undertake this type of study in developing a connection with the Edgewater community that starts on an exact informal phase and steadily develops into acquaintances. Moreover, this was an essential trust-building technique of research, letting the displaced addicts feel contented enough to open up and discuss upsetting practices from their lives. Hanging out term is created by Clifford, describing the anthropological study methods of plunging an individual in a belief or social understanding on an informal stage.

Ideally, Schonberg and Bourgois come up with the notion of lumpen abuse, avoiding the theoretical stalemate of the conservative and ever discussed structure –verses- agency dialogue. Such as; are people capable of portraying as free negotiators or are their decisions governed by social institution or structure? The Lumpen abuse model holds that though American residents are aware that drug misuse and homelessness are a challenge, they remain contented with the daily suffering that is resulted from structural powers, giving rise to destructive and fierce subjectivities. Individuals are generally aware of the existence of a problem amongst this group of cultures but do not occasionally contemplate the larger societal elements at work and in its place incline to blame the people. The lumpen prejudice of moral dopefiend that is distributed by all the Edgewater displaced exemplifies the insulting dynamics that allows all their dealings, entailing their dealings with labor markets, individuals, institutions, families, economic forces, cultural-ideological values, and finally their own.


Lumpen abuse is symbolic to violence, a term describing procedures, acts, or regulations that result in discrimination of specific marginal social assemblies based on aspects including ethnicity, socio-economic standing, and gender. Symbolic violence is greatly predominant in the lives of the displaced community as stated by the authors. The health amenities that these dopefiends acquire are not equally proportional to that of an individual outside their conditions and they are regularly viewed as less than human due to the stigma that is connected with their way of life. There are several study accounts of subjects being rashly released from heath facilities with uncovered, open wounds that resolved in lack of painkillers. Furthermore, police exertions are subjected towards assertion and incarceration of power among the displaced individuals rather than safety. Ideally, the displaced addicts reside in a ‘grey zone’ where their total properties can be frayed away instantly without any awareness. The demeaning and unjust conduct of this category of an individual is an illustration of symbolic fierceness at its worst.

Another issue that is addressed by Dopefiend is the embodiment, describing how social effects impact and plot onto physical figures in a noticeable way. The dopefiends are noticeable by their appearance including the extreme drug usage, alongside the poor living environments, which have plotted onto their bodies, causing an emaciated, dirty, and unhealthy appearance. The authors argue that people should claim accountability, but are not exclusively accountable for the blame executed by society. Their suffering is impacted by the incarnation of the fierceness continuum and entails an array of elements such as cultural judgment, low rehabilitation charges, and social policies. This book plays a major role by encouraging readers to examine and recognize their perception of drug-addicted and homeless while stirring understanding of the certainty of this lifestyle.

Lack of investigation of alternative treatments is a weakness that is portrayed in the book. Dopefiends would be epitome participants for an entire systems healing method, focusing on how the curing of the spirit and mind cannot be disconnected from the curing of the physical body. Further study into these strategies and model shift toward a preventive cure will advance medical knowledge of what triggers addiction and drug abuse, and in the future, may help to cut the entire population of homeless and drug abusers. This book appeals to a wide choice of readers besides helping addicts in the investigation of wider concerns driving drug misuse in the United States. Moreover, this is a perfect model for the ethnographic scholars, as it portrays ways of analyzing findings and providing a ground upon which more addiction and homelessness studies can be conducted, both on a global and national stage. Law and policymakers ought to read this book since it exemplifies the understanding of how decisions help in perpetuating addiction instead of resolving it.


In conclusion, the Righteous Dopefiend book should be distilled and its information translated to all individuals in our community to change our judgmental, conventional viewpoints on homelessness and addiction. The community should demonstrate consideration for these individuals to make the globe a better place to be. The book also portrays the gruesome material toll of infection, homelessness, and addiction. The authors develop a deeply nuanced image of the population that cannot evade social reprobation but warrants social inclusion. Schonberg’s pictures capture the marks of addiction, drug- running associates and social bonds among romantic couples and the concentrated efforts at home life without a domicile.

Cite this page

Paper Sample on Righteous Dopefiend. (2024, Jan 11). Retrieved from

Request Removal

If you are the original author of this essay and no longer wish to have it published on the SpeedyPaper website, please click below to request its removal:

Liked this essay sample but need an original one?

Hire a professional with VAST experience!

24/7 online support

NO plagiarism