You owe yourself a drunk: an ethnography of urban nomads

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Little, Brown, 1970 - 301 Seiten
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This book is an account of the experiences of men who are repeatedly arrested for public drunkenness. It challenges the idea that these men are simply rejects from society, who cannot organize their behavior by cultural traditions. Using the recently discovered methods of formal ethnographic analysis, the author presents this urban sub-culture as it relates to law enforcement agencies. Spradley's carefully researched portrayal of skid row men in Seattle in the late sixties documents their treatment by jails and the legal system in a time before homelessness became a recognized problem. As a result of Spradley's elegant and impassioned writing, the book became a sharp challenge to politicians, policymakers, judges, and police. This now-classic landmark study in urban ethnography stands as a shining example of the direct application of distinctly anthropological concepts and methods to address real-world problems. But more important, it represents a poignant challenge to society about our capacity to endure and accept nonconformity and social diversity.

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