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ANTA02H3 Study Guide - Bipolar Disorder, Tanya Luhrmann, Sudhir Venkatesh

Course Code
Bianca Dahl

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26 November 2012
Course code: ANTA02H3
ANTA02: Introduction to Anthropology
Righteous Dopefiend
B., Dahl
Ethics and Anthropological Engagement
Book focuses on questions of violence, degradation, and how to represent these
oNot turning them into heroes
oShowing the humanity of these “righteous dopefiends”
Line between field (work) and job becomes blurry
Emphasis on as an anthropologist, you’re supposed to watch and not
• “The texts and images we [anthropologists] present to the world are often profoundly
disturbing. When we report and write in an intimate way about scenes of violence, genocide,
and extreme social suffering, our readers have the right to react with anger and to ask just
what we are after?” (Scheper-Hughes and Bourgois 2003)
“Indeed, what do we want from our audience?
To shock? To evoke pity? … What of the people whose suffering is being made into a
public spectacle for the sake of the theoretical argument? Our years of observing many
different forms
of misery, violence, and chronic social suffering has shown us that the more frequent
and ubiquitous the images of sickness, suffering, and death, the more likely they are to
become invisible.”—Scheper-Hughes and Bourgois 200
oPeople become desensitized (become more naturalizes lack of being
questioned) with the issue of homelessness and heroin addiction.
oUrging us to see what makes these people addicted to drugs
“‘Violence’ is a slippery concept that goes beyond physicality to include assaults on self-
respect and personhood. The social and cultural dimensions of violence are what give it
its force and meaning” (Scheper-Hughes and Bourgois 2004)
oConcept of structural violence Farmer’s concept embedded with the idea that:
Structural Violence is “a vivid reminder that most violent acts are not
deviant. They are defined as moral in the service of conventional norms
and material interests. As ethnographers we can best contribute by

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26 November 2012
Course code: ANTA02H3
rendering visible these erased and unexpected linkages between
violence, suffering, and power” (Scheper-Hughes and Bourgois 2004)
Ultimate goals:
oDenaturalize inequality
oExpose hidden structures political structure of USA
o“Make this suffering visible”
Take US political changes to illuminate the Edgewater situations and uses this as a lens
to see the American values and ideologies
oBy taking these marginalize people, we see the institutional encounters are
characterized by mischaracterization (culture clash) and the concept of “If you’re
strong enough, then you’d be able to master your chemical dependency.”
Concept that they’re not bad people
oNeedle-exchange program
oMedical care
oCalifornia transit authority: Making the homeless encampments lives more
uncomfortable get rid of homelessness
oSelf-blame for drug users victims of their own actions  fundamental fact of drug
addiction (Initial choice locks you into a system)
oE.g. Police probe alleged L.A. homeless dumpingafter treating homeless people
they dump you to a poor neighborhood’s street as opposed to a shelter.
Idea that people get dehumanized one they stop following the norms of
Tension with inequality, but emphasis on the concept of sharing and re-humanizing these
Ethnography as a mediation challenge for those who can’t speak for themselves
Terminology Time
oRighteous Dopefiend
Term reflects the American values and drug policies:
Attitude against drug use creates marginalization
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