This article is a review of the book “HURT: Chronicles of the Drug War Generation” by Miriam Boeri. Through ethnographic research the author provides interpretative explorations of the personal lives and moral careers of 100 Baby Boomers addicted to illicit drugs, ensnared in the criminal justice system, buffeted by other agencies of social control and continuously marginalized by mainstream society. This review questions whether the author adhered to the norm of “value neutrality” in conducting the study and whether the study design and conclusions are characterized by bias? The book presented a contest between agency and social structure leaving the reader with the impression that it is wholly the system to be blamed for the problems of addicts and not also the individual who is addicted to drugs. Further, a plethora of sociological theories and constructs were independently employed to explain one or other aspect of the subject matter without any attempt to establish linkages among these and to create a more holistic theoretical explication of the subject matter. The author postulated a “social recovery model” that is seen as limited in explaining and resolving the problems of drug users and the drug epidemic.
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Sociology & Human Services
- Journal title
The Journal of Public and Professional Sociology
- Article number
- Date submitted
4 April 2023
- Additional information