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How It Works: Recovering Citizens In Post-Welfare Philadelphia

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How It Works: Recovering Citizens In Post-Welfare Philadelphia

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    Available in PDF Format | How It Works: Recovering Citizens In Post-Welfare Philadelphia.pdf | English
    Robert P. Fairbanks(Author)
Of the some sixty thousand vacant properties in Philadelphia, half of them are abandoned row houses. Taken as a whole, these derelict homes symbolize the city's plight in the wake of industrial decline. But a closer look reveals a remarkable new phenomenon - street-level entrepreneurs re purposing hundreds of these empty houses as facilities for recovering addicts and alcoholics. "How It Works" is a compelling study of this recovery house movement and its place in the new urban order wrought by welfare reform. To find out what life is like in these recovery houses, Robert P. Fairbanks II goes inside one particular home in the Kensington neighborhood. Operating without a license and unregulated by any government office, the recovery house provides food, shelter, company, and a bracing self-help philosophy to addicts in an area saturated with drugs and devastated by poverty. From this starkly vivid close-up, Fairbanks widens his lens to reveal the intricate relationships the recovery houses have forged with public welfare, the formal drug treatment sector, criminal justice institutions, and local government.

"This ethnography of subsistence and street-level entrepreneurship in the informal economy of addiction recovery reveals the unintended effects of the post-welfare state's parasitical management of the ravages of spatially contained poverty. Fairbanks takes us to the crux of the unintended depoliticizing effects of the entanglement of neoliberal statecraft with self-craft. He artfully documents the unplanned interface between a safety net shot full of holes and workfare, carceral repression, regulatory incompetence, low-wage labor, inner-city decay, incipient gentrification, and the struggle for individual worthiness and sober survival in one of America's poorest deindustrialized big cities."--Philippe Bourgois, coauthor of "Righteous Dopefiend "and author of "In Search of Respect: Selling Crack in El Barrio""In this powerful and provocative book, Robert Fairbanks delivers an incisive, street-level analysis of the brutal biopolitics of neoliberal poverty management. This remarkable journey through the recovery house movement leads us through the fraught regulatory spaces where devolutionary neglect meets do-it-yourself governmentality, where survival meets self-help, and where urban informality meets institutional reinvention. "How It Works" sets a new standard for marrying ethnographic depth, social relevance, and robust, creative theorizing." --Jamie Peck, University of British ColumbiaIn this powerful and provocative book, Robert Fairbanks delivers an incisive, street-level analysis of the brutal biopolitics of neoliberal poverty management.This remarkable journey through the recovery house movement leads us through the fraught regulatory spaces where devolutionary neglect meets do-it-yourself governmentality, where survival meets self-help, and where urban informality meets institutional reinvention. "How It Works" sets a new standard for marrying ethnographic depth, social relevance, and robust, creative theorizing. --Jamie Peck, University of British Columbia"This ethnography of subsistence and street-level entrepreneurship in the informal economy of addiction recovery reveals the unintended effects of the post-welfare state s parasitical management of the ravages of spatially contained poverty. Fairbanks takes us to the crux of the unintended depoliticizing effects of the entanglement of neoliberal statecraft with self-craft. He artfully documents the unplanned interface between a safety net shot full of holes and workfare, carceral repression, regulatory incompetence, low-wage labor, inner-city decay, incipient gentrification, and the struggle for individual worthiness and sober survival in one of America s poorest deindustrialized big cities. --Philippe Bourgois, coauthor of "Righteous Dopefiend "and author of "In Search of Respect: Selling Crack in El Barrio"" --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

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Book details

  • PDF | 308 pages
  • Robert P. Fairbanks(Author)
  • University of Chicago Press; 1 edition (15 Sept. 2009)
  • English
  • 9
  • Health, Family & Lifestyle
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