After decades of the American “war on drugs” and relentless prison expansion, political officials are finally challenging mass incarceration. Many point to an apparently promising solution to reduce the prison population: addiction treatment.
In Addicted to Rehab, Bard College sociologist Allison McKim gives an in-depth and innovative ethnographic account of two such rehab programs for women, one located in the criminal justice system and one located in the private healthcare system—two very different ways of defining and treating addiction. McKim’s book shows how addiction rehab reflects the race, class, and gender politics of the punitive turn. As a result, addiction has become a racialized category that has reorganized the link between punishment and welfare provision. While reformers hope that treatment will offer an alternative to punishment and help women, McKim argues that the framework of addiction further stigmatizes criminalized women and undermines our capacity to challenge gendered subordination. Her study ultimately reveals a two-tiered system, bifurcated by race and class.
Eugene Raikhel and William Garriott, eds. Duke University Press, 2013 Library of Congress HV5809.A335 2013 | Dewey Decimal 616.86
Bringing anthropological perspectives to bear on addiction, the contributors to this important collection highlight the contingency of addiction as a category of human knowledge and experience. Based on ethnographic research conducted in sites from alcohol treatment clinics in Russia to Pentecostal addiction ministries in Puerto Rico, the essays are linked by the contributors' attention to the dynamics—including the cultural, scientific, legal, religious, personal, and social—that shape the meaning of "addiction" in particular settings. They examine how it is understood and experienced among professionals working in the criminal justice system of a rural West Virginia community; Hispano residents of New Mexico's Espanola Valley, where the rate of heroin overdose is among the highest in the United States; homeless women participating in an outpatient addiction therapy program in the Midwest; machine-gaming addicts in Las Vegas, and many others. The collection's editors suggest "addiction trajectories" as a useful rubric for analyzing the changing meanings of addiction across time, place, institutions, and individual lives. Pursuing three primary trajectories, the contributors show how addiction comes into being as an object of knowledge, a site of therapeutic intervention, and a source of subjective experience. Contributors. Nancy D. Campbell, E. Summerson Carr, Angela Garcia, William Garriott, Helena Hansen, Anne M. Lovell, Emily Martin, Todd Meyers, Eugene Raikhel, A. Jamie Saris, Natasha Dow Schüll
With the introduction of more aggressive policing, prosecution, and sentencing since the late 1970s, the number of Americans in prison has increased dramatically. While many have credited these "get tough" policies with lowering violent crime rates, we are only just beginning to understand the broader costs of mass incarceration. In Barriers to Reentry? experts on labor markets and the criminal justice system investigate how imprisonment affects ex-offenders' employment prospects, and how the challenge of finding work after prison affects the likelihood that they will break the law again and return to prison. The authors examine the intersection of imprisonment and employment from many vantage points, including employer surveys, interviews with former prisoners, and state data on prison employment programs and post-incarceration employment rates. Ex-prisoners face many obstacles to re-entering the job market—from employers' fears of negligent hiring lawsuits to the lost opportunities for acquiring work experience while incarcerated. In a study of former prisoners, Becky Pettit and Christopher Lyons find that employment among this group was actually higher immediately after their release than before they were incarcerated, but that over time their employment rate dropped to their pre-imprisonment levels. Exploring the demand side of the equation, Harry Holzer, Steven Raphael, and Michael Stoll report on their survey of employers in Los Angeles about the hiring of former criminals, in which they find strong evidence of pervasive hiring discrimination against ex-prisoners. Devah Pager finds similar evidence of employer discrimination in an experiment in which Milwaukee employers were presented with applications for otherwise comparable jobseekers, some of whom had criminal records and some of whom did not. Such findings are particularly troubling in light of research by Steven Raphael and David Weiman which shows that ex-criminals are more likely to violate parole if they are unemployed. In a concluding chapter, Bruce Western warns that prison is becoming the norm for too many inner-city minority males; by preventing access to the labor market, mass incarceration is exacerbating inequality. Western argues that, ultimately, the most successful policies are those that keep young men out of prison in the first place. Promoting social justice and reducing recidivism both demand greater efforts to reintegrate former prisoners into the workforce. Barriers to Reentry? cogently underscores one of the major social costs of incarceration, and builds a compelling case for rethinking the way our country rehabilitates criminals.
“From the upper bunk where I write, a narrow window allows me a southern exposure of the desert beyond this prison. Saguaro cacti, residents here long before this rude concrete pueblo, fill the upper part of my frame. If I could open the window and reach out across the razed ground, sand traps, and shining perimeter fence, I might touch their fluted sides, their glaucous and waxen skins.”
For some people, even prison cannot shut out the natural world.
A teacher and family man incarcerated in Arizona State Prison—the result of a transgression that would cost him a dozen years of his life—Ken Lamberton can see beyond his desert walls. In essays that focus on the natural history of the region and on his own personal experiences with desert places, the author of the Burroughs Medal-winning book Wilderness and Razor Wire takes readers along as he revisits the Southwest he knew when he was free, and as he makes an inner journey toward self-awareness. Whether considering the seemingly eternal cacti or the desolate beauty of the Pinacate, he draws on sharp powers of observation to re-create what lies beyond his six-by-eight cell and to contemplate the thoughts that haunt his mind as tenaciously as the kissing bugs that haunt his sleep.
Ranging from prehistoric ruins on the Colorado Plateau to the shores of the Sea of Cortez, these writings were begun before Wilderness and Razor Wire and serve as a prequel to it. They seamlessly interweave natural and personal history as Lamberton explores caves, canyons, and dry ponds, evoking the mysteries and rhythms of desert life that elude even the most careful observers. He offers new ways of thinking about how we relate to the natural world, and about the links between those relationships and the ones we forge with other people. With the assurance of a gifted writer, he seeks to make sense of his own place in life, crafting words to come to terms with an insanity of his own making, to look inside himself and understand his passions and flaws.
Whether considering rattlesnakes of the hellish summer desert or the fellow inmates of his own personal hell, Lamberton finds meaningful connections—to his crime and his place, to the people who remained in his life and those who didn’t. But what he reveals in Beyond Desert Walls ultimately arises from language itself: a deep, and perhaps even frightening, understanding of a singular human nature.
The American prison system has grown tenfold since the 1970s, but crime rates in the United States have not decreased. This doesn't surprise Michael J. Lynch, a critical criminologist, who argues that our oversized prison system is a product of our consumer culture, the public's inaccurate beliefs about controlling crime, and the government's criminalizing of the poor.
While deterrence and incapacitation theories suggest that imprisoning more criminals and punishing them leads to a reduction in crime, case studies, such as one focusing on the New York City jail system between 1993 and 2003, show that a reduction in crime is unrelated to the size of jail populations. Although we are locking away more people, Lynch explains that we are not targeting the worst offenders. Prison populations are comprised of the poor, and many are incarcerated for relatively minor robberies and violence. America's prison expansion focused on this group to the exclusion of corporate and white collar offenders who create hazardous workplace and environmental conditions that lead to deaths and injuries, and enormous economic crimes. If America truly wants to reduce crime, Lynch urges readers to rethink cultural values that equate bigger with better.
In this extraordinary study, Michael Dorland explores sixty years of medical attempts by French doctors (mainly in the fields of neuropsychiatry and psychoanalysis) to describe the effects of concentration camp incarceration on Holocaust survivors. Dorland begins with a discussion of the liberation of concentration camp survivors, their stay in deportation camps, and eventual return to France, analyzing the circulation of mainly medical (neuropsychiatric) knowledge, its struggles to establish a symptomology of camp effects, and its broadening out into connected medical fields such as psychoanalysis. He then turns specifically to the French medical doctors who studied Holocaust survivors, and he investigates somatic, psychological, and holistic conceptions of survivors as patients and human beings. The final third of the book offers a comparative look at the “psy-science” approach to Holocaust survival beyond France, particularly in the United States and Israel. He illuminates the peculiar journey of a medical discourse that began in France but took on new forms elsewhere, eventually expanding into nonmedical fields to create the basis of the “traumato-culture” with which we are familiar today. Embedding his analysis of different medical discourses in the sociopolitical history of France in the twentieth century, he also looks at the French Jewish Question as it affected French medicine, the effects of five years of Nazi Occupation, France’s enthusiastic collaboration, and the problems this would pose for postwar collective memory.
One of the most astonishing aspects of juvenile crime is how little is known about the impact of the policies and programs put in place to fight it. The most commonly used strategies and programs for combating juvenile delinquency problems primarily rely on intuition and fads. Fortunately, as a result of the promising new research documented in Changing Lives, these deficiencies in our juvenile justice system might quickly be remedied.
Peter W. Greenwood here demonstrates here that as crimes rates have fallen, researchers have identified more connections between specific risk factors and criminal behavior, while program developers have discovered a wide array of innovative interventions. The result of all this activity, he reveals, has been the revelation of a few prevention models that reduce crime much more cost-effectively than popular approaches such as tougher sentencing, D.A.R.E., boot camps, and "scared straight" programs. Changing Lives expertly presents the most promising of these prevention programs, their histories, the quality of evidence to support their effectiveness, the public policy programs involved in bringing them into wider use, and the potential for investments and developmental research to increase the range and quality of programs.
The majority of European Jewish children alive in 1939 were murdered during the Holocaust. Of 1.5 million children, only an estimated 150,000 survived. In the aftermath of the Shoah, efforts by American Jews brought several thousand of these child survivors to the United States. In Child Survivors of the Holocaust, historian Beth B. Cohen weaves together survivor testimonies and archival documents to bring their story to light. She reveals that even as child survivors were resettled and “saved,” they struggled to adapt to new lives as members of adoptive families, previously unknown American Jewish kin networks, or their own survivor relatives. Nonetheless, the youngsters moved ahead. As Cohen demonstrates, the experiences both during and after the war shadowed their lives and relationships through adulthood, yet an identity as “survivors” eluded them for decades. Now, as the last living link to the Holocaust, the voices of Child Survivors are finally being heard.
Cochlear Implants in Children: Ethics and Choices addresses every facet of the ongoing controversy about implanting cochlear hearing devices in children as young as 12 months old and in some cases, younger. Authors John B. Christiansen and Irene W. Leigh and contributors Jay Lucker and Patricia Elizabeth Spencer analyzed the sensitive issues connected with the procedure by reviewing 439 responses to a survey of parents with children who have cochlear implants. They followed up with interviews of the parents of children who have had a year's experience using their implants, and also the children themselves. Their findings shape the core of this useful and telling study.
Cochlear Implants begins with a history of their development and an explanation of how implants convert sound into electric impulses that stimulate the brain. The second section focuses on pediatric implants, starting with the ways parents coped with the discovery that their child was deaf. Parents share how they learned about cochlear implants and how they chose an implant center. They also detail their children's experiences with the implants after surgery, and their progress with language acquisition and in school.
The final part treats the controversy associated with cochlear implants, particularly the reaction of the Deaf community and the ethics of implanting young children without their consent. Cochlear Implants concludes with sage observations and recommendations for parents and professionals that complete it as the essential book on the pros and cons of this burgeoning technology.
John B. Christiansen is Professor of Sociology at Gallaudet University.
Irene W. Leigh is Professor of Psychology at Gallaudet University.
This new book for students and professionals emphasizes a functional approach to aural rehabilitation refined during the past several years. It details the use of an integrated therapy strategy designed to meet a variety of needs for each client while simultaneously working on multiple communication skill areas. Particular care has been taken to address the different requirements of deaf and hard of hearing adolescents and adults, including information about the unique needs of the culturally Deaf population. Throughout this practical text, clinicians receive encouragement to learn American Sign Language to enhance communication with Deaf clients.
Communication Therapy calls upon the expertise of various authorities well-versed in integrated therapy. They explain fully the state-of-the-art practices for all therapy areas, from global areas in communication therapy, to technology for aural rehabilitation, auditory skills, speechreading, speech and voice, pronunciation, and language skills, and telephone communication training. Case studies demonstrate the effectiveness of the integrated approach, making this book a significant advancement in communication therapy.
Mary June Moseley is Associate Professor in the Department of Audiology and Speech-Language Pathology at Gallaudet University.
Scott J. Bally is Assistant Professor in the Department of Audiology and Speech-Language Pathology at Gallaudet University.
Currently, 1.7 million Americans are either blind or are in the process of losing their vision. Sightless himself and a veteran of four decades of helping people cope with blindness as well as with the possibility of blindness, Alvin Roberts decided that telling stories drawn from the community of the blind and from his fellow rehabilitation workers was the best way to reassure others—especially the elderly, who are most at risk of becoming visually impaired—that "blindness need not be the end of active life, but rather the beginning of a life in which [people] will depend on their residual senses to continue full, active living."
Through good stories well told, then, Roberts offers reassurance that competent help exists for the visually impaired. He chooses stories that demonstrate to those facing blindness that they, too, can learn to cope because others have done so. Yet that is only part of his message. Seeing humor as a great facilitator for successfully reentering mainstream society, Roberts also dispels the commonly held belief that blind people are a somber lot and that those who help them encounter little humor. Many of these stories are frankly funny, and blind people and those in the rehabilitation field certainly are not above practical jokes.
Roberts’s personal experiences and conversations with colleagues have provided a wealth of incidents on which to base stories of rehabilitation workers with the blind going about their daily tasks. He paints a positive picture of what it is like to be blind, replacing fear, dread, and myth with reality.
The Corrigible and the Incorrigible explores the surprising history of efforts aimed at rehabilitating convicts in 20th-century Germany, efforts founded not out of an unbridled optimism about the capacity of people to change, but arising from a chronic anxiety about the potential threats posed by others. Since the 1970s, criminal justice systems on both sides of the Atlantic have increasingly emphasized security, surveillance, and atonement, an approach that contrasts with earlier efforts aimed at scientifically understanding, therapeutically correcting, and socially reintegrating convicts. And while a distinction is often drawn between American and European ways of punishment, the contrast reinforces the longstanding impression that modern punishment has played out as a choice between punitive retribution and correctional rehabilitation. Focusing on developments in Nazi, East, and West Germany, The Corrigible and the Incorrigible shows that rehabilitation was considered an extension of, rather than a counterweight to, the hardline emphasis on punishment and security by providing the means to divide those incarcerated into those capable of reform and the irredeemable.
There is no more seemingly incorrigible criminal type than the child sex offender. Said to suffer from a deeply rooted paraphilia, he is often considered as outside the moral limits of the human, profoundly resistant to change. Despite these assessments, in much of the West an increasing focus on rehabilitation through therapy provides hope that psychological transformation is possible. Examining the experiences of child sex offenders undergoing therapy in Germany—where such treatments are both a legal right and duty—John Borneman, in Cruel Attachments, offers a fine-grained account of rehabilitation for this reviled criminal type.
Carefully exploring different cases of the attempt to rehabilitate child sex offenders, Borneman details a secular ritual process aimed not only at preventing future acts of molestation but also at fundamentally transforming the offender, who is ultimately charged with creating an almost entirely new self. Acknowledging the powerful repulsion felt by a public that is often extremely skeptical about the success of rehabilitation, he challenges readers to confront the contemporary contexts and conundrums that lie at the heart of regulating intimacy between children and adults.
In Curative Violence Eunjung Kim examines what the social and material investment in curing illnesses and disabilities tells us about the relationship between disability and Korean nationalism. Kim uses the concept of curative violence to question the representation of cure as a universal good and to understand how nonmedical and medical cures come with violent effects that are not only symbolic but also physical. Writing disability theory in a transnational context, Kim tracks the shifts from the 1930s to the present in the ways that disabled bodies and narratives of cure have been represented in Korean folktales, novels, visual culture, media accounts, policies, and activism. Whether analyzing eugenics, the management of Hansen's disease, discourses on disabled people's sexuality, violence against disabled women, or rethinking the use of disabled people as a metaphor for life under Japanese colonial rule or under the U.S. military occupation, Kim shows how the possibility of life with disability that is free from violence depends on the creation of a space and time where cure is seen as a negotiation rather than a necessity.
Juvenile drug courts are on the rise in the United States, as a result of a favorable political climate and justice officials' endorsement of the therapeutic jurisprudence movement--the concept of combining therapeutic care with correctional discipline. The goal is to divert nonviolent youth drug offenders into addiction treatment instead of long-term incarceration. Discretionary Justice overviews the system, taking readers behind the scenes of the juvenile drug court. Based on fifteen months of ethnographic fieldwork and interviews at a California court, Leslie Paik explores the staff's decision-making practices in assessing the youths' cases, concentrating on the way accountability and noncompliance are assessed. Using the concept of "workability," Paik demonstrates how compliance, and what is seen by staff as "noncompliance," are the constructed results of staff decisions, fluctuating budgets, and sometimes questionable drug test results.
While these courts largely focus on holding youths responsible for their actions, this book underscores the social factors that shape how staff members view progress in the court. Paik also emphasizes the perspectives of children and parents. Given the growing emphasis on individual responsibility in other settings, such as schools and public welfare agencies, Paik's findings are relevant outside the juvenile justice system.
In the twenty-first-century world of juvenile justice policy and practice, nearly everyone agrees that one of the most pressing issues facing the nation's juvenile courts is their proper response to delinquent youths with mental disorders. Recent research indicates that about two-thirds of adolescent offenders in juvenile justice facilities meet the criteria for one or more mental disorders. What are the obligations of our juvenile justice system, then, as the caretaker for delinquent youth with such disabilities? How do issues of adolescent development create special challenges in determining the court's proper response to delinquents with special mental health needs? Thomas Grisso considers these questions while offering new information to assist the juvenile justice system in its responses to the needs of our children.
Double Jeopardy considers the newest data on the nature of youths' mental disorders—their relationships to delinquency, the values and limits of methods to treat them, and the common patterns of adolescent offending. That information is used to chart a rational course for fulfilling the juvenile justice system's duty—as a custodian of children in need of health care, as a legal system promoting fairness in youth adjudication, and as a protector of public safety—to respond to delinquent youths' mental disorders. Moreover, Double Jeopardy provides a scientific yet practical foundation for lawmakers, judges, attorneys, and mental health care professionals, as well as researchers who must fill the knowledge gaps that limit the juvenile justice system's abilities to meet youths' mental health needs.
Today, death sentences in the U.S. are as rare as lightning strikes. Brandon Garrett shows us the reasons why, and explains what the failed death penalty experiment teaches about the effect of inept lawyering, overzealous prosecution, race discrimination, wrongful convictions, and excessive punishments throughout the criminal justice system.
In Everyday Desistance, Laura Abrams and Diane J. Terry examine the lives of young people who spent considerable time in and out of correctional institutions as adolescents. These formerly incarcerated youth often struggle with the onset of adult responsibilities at a much earlier age than their more privileged counterparts. In the context of urban Los Angeles, with a large-scale gang culture and diminished employment prospects, further involvement in crime appears almost inevitable. Yet, as Abrams and Terry point out, these formerly imprisoned youth are often quite resilient and can be successful at creating lives for themselves after months or even years of living in institutions run by the juvenile justice system.
This book narrates the day-to-day experiences of these young men and women, focusing on their attempts to surmount the challenges of adulthood, resisting a return to criminal activity, and formulating long-term goals for a secure adult future.
When a woman leaves prison, she enters a world of competing messages and conflicting advice. Staff from prison, friends, family members, workers at halfway houses and treatment programs all have something to say about who she is, who she should be, and what she should do. The Ex-Prisoner’s Dilemma offers an in-depth, firsthand look at how the former prisoner manages messages about returning to the community.
Over the course of a year, Andrea Leverentz conducted repeated interviews with forty-nine women as they adjusted to life outside of prison and worked to construct new ideas of themselves as former prisoners and as mothers, daughters, sisters, romantic partners, friends, students, and workers. Listening to these women, along with their family members, friends, and co-workers, Leverentz pieces together the narratives they have created to explain their past records and guide their future behavior. She traces where these narratives came from and how they were shaped by factors such as gender, race, maternal status, age, and experiences in prison, halfway houses, and twelve-step programs—factors that in turn shaped the women’s expectations for themselves, and others’ expectations of them. The women’s stories form a powerful picture of the complex, complicated human experience behind dry statistics and policy statements regarding prisoner reentry into society for women, how the experience is different for men and the influence society plays.
With its unique view of how society’s mixed messages play out in ex-prisoners’ lived realities, The Ex-Prisoner’s Dilemma shows the complexity of these women’s experiences within the broad context of the war on drugs and mass incarceration in America. It offers invaluable lessons for helping such women successfully rejoin society.
Jamie J. Fader documents the transition to adulthood for a particularly vulnerable population: young inner-city men of color who have, by the age of eighteen, already been imprisoned. How, she asks, do such precariously situated youth become adult men? What are the sources of change in their lives?
Falling Back is based on over three years of ethnographic research with black and Latino males on the cusp of adulthood and incarcerated at a rural reform school designed to address “criminal thinking errors” among juvenile drug offenders. Fader observed these young men as they transitioned back to their urban Philadelphia neighborhoods, resuming their daily lives and struggling to adopt adult masculine roles. This in-depth ethnographic approach allowed her to portray the complexities of human decision-making as these men strove to “fall back,” or avoid reoffending, and become productive adults. Her work makes a unique contribution to sociological understandings of the transitions to adulthood, urban social inequality, prisoner reentry, and desistance from offending.
Scientific progress often begins with the difficult task of preparing informed, conclusive reviews of existing research. Since the 1970s, the traditional "subjective" approach to research reviewing in the social sciences has been challenged by a statistical alternative known as meta-analysis. Meta-analysis provides a principled method of distilling reliable generalizations from previous studies on a single topic, thereby providing a quantitative and objective background for future research. The Future of Meta-Analysis brings together expert researchers for an in-depth examination of this new methodology—not to promote a consensus view but rather to explore from several perspectives the theories, tensions, and concerns of meta-analysis, and to illustrate through concrete examples the rationale behind meta-analytic decisions. In a meta-analysis prepared especially for this volume, a statistician and a psychologist review the existing literature on aphasia treatment. In a second study, experts analyze six still-unpublished meta-analyses sponsored by the National Institute of Education to investigate the effects of school desegregation on the academic achievement of black children. This unique case study approach provides valuable discussion of the process of meta-analysis and of the current implications of meta-analysis for policy assessment. Prepared under the auspices of the National Research Council, The Future of Meta-Analysis presents a forum for leaders in this rapidly evolving field to discuss salient conceptual and technical issues and to offer a new theoretical framework, further methodological guidance, and statistical innovations that anticipate a future in which meta-analysis will play an even more effective and valuable role in social science research.
A basic guide for individuals responsible for developing and/or operating comprehensive or specialized human service programs.
Drawing on more than a decade of classroom experience and development and incorporating standards from the Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities (1985 Edition), Riggar and Matkin have created a management tool that is as practical for human service providers as it is for students. Here is the fundamental management knowledge required to establish or manage all types of human service programs and facilities.
The text is organized into 23 sections that describe tasks ranging from constructing mission statements and admission criteria to developing start-up budgets and allocating space for both direct and indirect services. Each section provides definitions and guidelines, practical examples, exercises, and selected references. While the focus is on the practices of the private not-for-profit sector, those working in a profit-oriented setting will find many of the sections and exercises to be valuable aids for developing, operating, and maintaining successful programs.
In September 1955 six-year-old Mark O’Brien moved his arms and legs for the last time. He came out of a coma to find himself enclosed from the neck down in an iron lung, the machine in which he would live for much of the rest of his life.
For the first time in paperback, How I Became a Human Being is O’Brien’s account of his struggles to lead an independent life despite a lifelong disability. In 1955 he contracted polio and became permanently paralyzed from the neck down. O’Brien describes growing up without the use of his limbs, his adolescence struggling with physical rehabilitation and suffering the bureaucracy of hospitals and institutions, and his adult life as an independent student and writer. Despite his physical limitations, O’Brien crafts a narrative that is as rich and vivid as the life he led.
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 repurposing 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 the local government.
“It’s not a process,” one pastor insisted, “rehabilitation is a miracle.” In the face of addiction and few state resources, Pentecostal pastors in Guatemala City are fighting what they understand to be a major crisis. Yet the treatment centers they operate produce this miracle of rehabilitation through extraordinary means: captivity. These men of faith snatch drug users off the streets, often at the request of family members, and then lock them up inside their centers for months, sometimes years.
Hunted is based on more than ten years of fieldwork among these centers and the drug users that populate them. Over time, as Kevin Lewis O’Neill engaged both those in treatment and those who surveilled them, he grew increasingly concerned that he, too, had become a hunter, albeit one snatching up information. This thoughtful, intense book will reframe the arc of redemption we so often associate with drug rehabilitation, painting instead a seemingly endless cycle of hunt, capture, and release.
“Don taught us how to be a real independent living center. Nothing was easy; every issue that came up on the road to Don’s independence was a challenge and a struggle, but the experience pushed us and we learned from it. We were not going to let Don down; all of us were committed to Don’s freedom and independence.”
—Kathleen Kleinman, Executive Director, TRPIL (Transitional Paths to Independent Living)
Profoundly deafened as an infant, Don Fulk didn’t learn his name or go to school until the age of ten. When he was eighteen years old and a budding superstar on his football and basketball teams, he broke his neck in a swimming accident, and became paralyzed. After his injury, he was confined to a bed in his parents’ home for eight years, unable to move and barely able to communicate. After his family could no longer care for him, he spent nine years in a nursing home where he suffered from abuse and neglect.
Yet through a life marred by isolation and frustration, Fulk endured with strength, humor, and grace. He never gave up pursuing his dreams for independence and self-worth, and improving the lives of others. He fought a system that was unfair and discriminatory, and helped pave the way for people with disabilities to live independently. Don Fulk signed his story to author Janet Allen, describing his difficult home life, the incredible friends who changed his life, and his dramatic escape from an abusive nursing home. An Invincible Spirit is a story of hope, empowerment, and the battles people with disabilities have fought—and continue to fight—to improve the quality of their lives.
No part of the United States escaped the ravages of the Great Depression, but some coped with it better than others. This book examines New Deal relief programs in Kansas throughout the Depression, focusing on the relationship between the state and the federal government to show how their successful operation depended on the effectiveness of that partnership.
Ranging widely over all of Kansas’s 105 counties, Peter Fearon provides a detailed analysis of the key relief programs for both urban and rural areas and shows that the state’s Republican administration—led by FDR’s later presidential opponent Governor Alf Landon—effectively ran New Deal welfare policies. As early as 1933, federal officials reported the Kansas central relief administration to be one of the most efficient in the country, and funding for farm policies was generous enough to keep many Kansas farm families off the relief rolls. Indeed, historically high levels of social spending ensured that New Deal initiatives were radical for their day, but Fearon shows that, especially in Kansas, fears of the debilitating effects of the dole and the insistence on means testing and work relief served as conservative balances to the threat of a dependency culture.
Drawing on extensive research at the county level, Fearon examines relief problems from the perspective of recipients, social workers, and poor commissioners, all of whom had to cope with inadequate and fluctuating funding. He plumbs the sometimes volatile relationships between social workers and their clients to illustrate the formidable difficulties faced by the former and explain reasons for—and effects of—strikes and riots by the latter. He also investigates the operation of work relief, considers the treatment of women and blacks in the distribution of welfare resources, and assesses the effects of the WPA on employment—showing that the majority of those eligible were unable to secure positions and were forced to fall back on county relief.
Kansas in the Great Depression is an insightful look at how federal, state, and local authorities worked together to deal with a national emergency, revealing the complexities of policy initiatives not generally brought to light in studies at the national level while establishing important links between pre-Roosevelt policies and the New Deal. It reaffirms the virtues of government programs run by dedicated public officials as it opens a new window on Americans helping Americans in their darkest hours.
A mother whose child has had a cochlear implant tells Laura Mauldin why enrollment in the sign language program at her daughter’s school is plummeting: “The majority of parents want their kids to talk.” Some parents, however, feel very differently, because “curing” deafness with cochlear implants is uncertain, difficult, and freighted with judgment about what is normal, acceptable, and right. Made to Hear sensitively and thoroughly considers the structure and culture of the systems we have built to make deaf children hear.
Based on accounts of and interviews with families who adopt the cochlear implant for their deaf children, this book describes the experiences of mothers as they navigate the health care system, their interactions with the professionals who work with them, and the influence of neuroscience on the process. Though Mauldin explains the politics surrounding the issue, her focus is not on the controversy of whether to have a cochlear implant but on the long-term, multiyear undertaking of implantation. Her study provides a nuanced view of a social context in which science, technology, and medicine are trusted to vanquish disability—and in which mothers are expected to use these tools. Made to Hear reveals that implantation has the central goal of controlling the development of the deaf child’s brain by boosting synapses for spoken language and inhibiting those for sign language, placing the politics of neuroscience front and center.
Examining the consequences of cochlear implant technology for professionals and parents of deaf children, Made to Hear shows how certain neuroscientific claims about neuroplasticity, deafness, and language are deployed to encourage compliance with medical technology.
Celebrated prison reformer Miriam Van Waters made history for her sensational battle to retain the superintendency of the Massachusetts Reformatory for Women in 1949. Maternal Justice provides a compelling biography of this early lesbian activist by moving beyond the controversy to tell the story of a remarkable woman whose success rested upon the power of her own charismatic leadership.
Estelle B. Freedman draws from Van Waters's diaries, letters, and personal papers to recreate her complex personal life, unveiling the disparity between Van Waters's public persona and her agonized private soul. With the power and elegance of a novel, Maternal Justice illuminates this historical context, casting light on the social welfare tradition, on women's history, on the American feminist movement, and on the history of sexuality.
"Maternal Justice is as much a work of history as it is biography, bringing to life not only a remarkable woman but also the complex political and social milieu within which she worked and lived."—Kelleher Jewett, The Nation
"This sympathetic biography reclaims Van Waters for history."—Publishers Weekly
"The Van Waters legacy, as Freedman gracefully presents, is that she cared about the lives of women behind bars. It is a strikingly unfashionable sentiment today."—Jane Meredith Adams, San Francisco Chronicle Book Review, Editor's Recommended Selection
"This finely crafted biography is both an engrossing read and a richly complicated account of a reformer whose work . . . bridged the eras of voluntarist charitable activism and professional social service."—Sherri Broder, Women's Review of Books
"This is a sympathetic, highly personal biography, revealing of both the author's responses to her subject's life and, in considerable detail, Van Waters's family traumas, illnesses, and love affairs."—Elizabeth Israels Perry, Journal of American History
Oklahoma has long held the dubious honor of having the highest female incarceration rate in the country, nearly twice the national average. In this compelling new book, sociologist Susan Sharp sets out to discover just what has gone so wrong in the state of Oklahoma—and what that might tell us about trends in female incarceration nationwide.
The culmination of over a decade of original research, Mean Lives, Mean Laws exposes a Kafkaesque criminal justice system, one that has no problem with treating women as collateral damage in the War on Drugs or with stripping female prisoners of their parental rights. Yet it also reveals the individual histories of women who were jailed in Oklahoma, providing intimate portraits of their lives before, during, and after their imprisonment. We witness the impoverished and abusive conditions in which many of these women were raised; we get a vivid portrait of their everyday lives behind bars; and we glimpse the struggles that lead many ex-convicts to fall back into the penal system.
Through an innovative methodology that combines statistical rigor with extensive personal interviews, Sharp shows how female incarceration affects not only individuals, but also families and communities. Putting a human face on a growing social problem, Mean Lives, Mean Laws raises important questions about both the state of Oklahoma and the state of the nation.
Female drug addicts are often stereotyped either as promiscuous, lazy, and selfish, or as weak, scared, and trapped into addiction. These depictions typify the "pathology and powerlessness" narrative that has historically characterized popular and academic conversations about female substance abusers. Neither Villain Nor Victim attempts to correct these polarizing perspectives by presenting a critical feminist analysis of the drug world. By shifting the discussion to one centered on women's agency and empowerment, this book reveals the complex experiences and social relationships of women addicts.
Essays explore a range of topics, including the many ways that women negotiate the illicit drug world, how former drug addicts manage the more intimate aspects of their lives as they try to achieve abstinence, how women tend to use intervention resources more positively than their male counterparts, and how society can improve its response to female substance abusers by moving away from social controls (such as the criminalization of prostitution) and rehabilitative programs that have been shown to fail women in the long term.
Advancing important new perspectives about the position of women in the drug world, this book is essential reading in courses on women and crime, feminist theory, and criminal justice.
Now, parents of deaf children have at hand a complete guide to the process of cochlear implantation. Written by two eminent professionals in deaf education, The Parents' Guide to Cochlear Implants explains in a friendly, easy-to-follow style each stage of the process. Parents will discover how to have their child evaluated to determine her or his suitability for an implant. They'll learn about implant device options, how to choose an implant center, and every detail of the surgical procedure. The initial "switch-on" is described along with counseling about device maintenance.
Most importantly, parents will learn their roles in helping their child adjust to and successfully use the cochlear implant. The Parents' Guide to Cochlear Implants emphasizes such critical subjects as learning to listen through home activities, implants as tools for language development, and critical issues regarding school placement. This encouraging book considers the implications for performance in light of the whole child, including issues related to Deaf culture and cochlear implants. The authors also include brief stories by parents whose children have had implants that provide reassuring actual experiences to parents considering the procedure for their own child. With a last word on parenting perspectives and a rich source of resources in the appendices, this one-of-a-kind guide will arm parents of deaf children with complete confidence to make informed decisions about cochlear implantation.
Patricia M. Chute is Associate Professor in the Department of Communication Disorders at Mercy College, Dobbs Ferry, NY.
Mary Ellen Nevins is Professor in the Department of Communication Disorders and Deafness at Kean University, Union, New Jersey.
Christian Bagge, an Iraq War veteran, lost both his legs in a roadside bomb attack on his Humvee in 2006. Months after the accident, outfitted with sleek new prosthetic legs, he jogged alongside President Bush for a photo op at the White House. The photograph served many functions, one of them being to revive faith in an American martial ideal—that war could be fought without permanent casualties, and that innovative technology could easily repair war’s damage. When Bagge was awarded his Purple Heart, however, military officials asked him to wear pants to the ceremony, saying that photos of the event should be “soft on the eyes.” Defiant, Bagge wore shorts.
America has grappled with the questions posed by injured veterans since its founding, and with particular force since the early twentieth century: What are the nation’s obligations to those who fight in its name? And when does war’s legacy of disability outweigh the nation’s interests at home and abroad? In Paying with Their Bodies, John M. Kinder traces the complicated, intertwined histories of war and disability in modern America. Focusing in particular on the decades surrounding World War I, he argues that disabled veterans have long been at the center of two competing visions of American war: one that highlights the relative safety of US military intervention overseas; the other indelibly associating American war with injury, mutilation, and suffering. Kinder brings disabled veterans to the center of the American war story and shows that when we do so, the history of American war over the last century begins to look very different. War can no longer be seen as a discrete experience, easily left behind; rather, its human legacies are felt for decades.
The first book to examine the history of American warfare through the lens of its troubled legacy of injury and disability, Paying with Their Bodies will force us to think anew about war and its painful costs.
Portraits of Violence explores the image and idea of facial disfigurement in one of its most troubling modern formations, as a symbol and consequence of war. It opens with Nina Berman’s iconic photograph Marine Wedding, which provoked a debate about the medical, military, and psychological response to serious combat injuries. While these issues remain urgent, it is equally crucial to interrogate the representation of war and injury. The concepts of valor, heroism, patriotism, and courage assume visible form and do their cultural work when they are personified and embodied. The mutilated or disabled veteran’s body can connote the brutalizing, dehumanizing potential of modern combat.
Suzannah Biernoff draws on a wide variety of sources mainly from WWI but also contemporary photography and computer games. Each chapter revolves around particular images: Marine Wedding is discussed alongside Stuart Griffiths’ portraits of British veterans; Henry Tonks’ drawings of WWI facial casualties are compared to the medical photographs in the Gillies Archives; the production of portrait masks for the severely disfigured is approached through the lens of documentary film and photography; and finally the haunting image of one of Tonks’s patients reappears in BioShock, a highly successful computer game. The book simultaneously addresses a neglected area in disability studies; puts disfigurement on the agenda for art history and visual studies; and makes a timely and provocative contribution to the literature on the First World War.
After World War II, the United States underwent a massive cultural transformation that was vividly realized in the development and widespread use of new medical technologies. Plastic surgery, wonder drugs, artificial organs, and prosthetics inspired Americans to believe in a new age of modern medical miracles. The nationalistic pride that flourished in postwar society, meanwhile, encouraged many Americans to put tremendous faith in the power of medicine to rehabilitate and otherwise transform the lives and bodies of the disabled and those considered abnormal. Replaceable You revisits this heady era in American history to consider how these medical technologies and procedures were used to advance the politics of conformity during the 1950s.
In Sex Offenders, Stigma, and Social Control, Diana Rickard provides the reader with an in-depth view of six sex offenders, exploring how they manage to cope with their highly stigmatized role as social outcasts. The book explores how these individuals construct their sense of self. By placing their stories within the context of the current culture of mass incarceration and zero-tolerance, Rickard provides a deeper understanding of the complex relationship between public policy and lived experience.
Convicted sexually violent predators are more vilified, more subject to media misrepresentation, and more likely to be denied basic human rights than any other population. Shaming the Constitution authors Michael Perlin and Heather Cucolo question the intentions of sex offender laws, offering new approaches to this most complex (and controversial) area of law and social policy.
The authors assert that sex offender laws and policies are unconstitutional and counter-productive. The legislation largely fails to add to public safety—even ruining lives for what are, in some cases, trivial infractions. Shaming the Constitution draws on law, behavioral sciences, and other disciplines to show that many of the “solutions” to penalizing sexually violent predators are “wrong,” as they create the most repressive and useless laws.
In addition to tracing the history of sex offender laws, the authors address the case of Jesse Timmendequas, whose crime begat “Megan’s Law;” the media’s role in creating a “moral panic;” recidivism statistics and treatments, as well as international human rights laws. Ultimately, they call attention to the flaws in the system so we can find solutions that contribute to public safety in ways that do not mock Constitutional principles.
Sounding for Cool
Donald Morrill Michigan State University Press, 2002 Library of Congress HV863.M67 2002 | Dewey Decimal 305.310973
Sounding for Cool is about self-transformation, about growing up on one’s own as a product of contemporary America, and about how to become not just a man, but a contributing adult in society. Donald Morrill presents the day-to-day lives of seven young men (white, black, Hispanic, immigrant, middle-class, thick-headed, poor, and smart), who for various reasons have become homeless. Placed in a Transitional Living Program facility (TLP) by the courts, these men must learn to navigate in the world of “normal” values and reasonable rules. Streetwise and callow, trained to seek shortcuts or to make excuses, they struggle with the structures and assumptions inherent in living a law-abiding, bill-paying life. While sorting out their souls, they learn how to connect with others.
In turn, Sounding for Cool scrutinizes the staff of the TLP, one woman and three men, who variously come to terms with their lives by settling accounts from the past. As a TLP volunteer, Donald Morrill often finds himself bridging the gap between staff and client. In the process of telling their stories, he chronicles his own journey to understand the past. Ultimately, Sounding for Cool asks the enduring questions, “Who am I in the world and what can I become?”
When first published in 1970, Stations of the Lost won the C. Wright Mills Award for Best Book in the Area of Social Problems. The study considers the Skid Row alcoholic from two points of view, that of the alcoholic himself and that of the agents of social control who treat him. A major discovery of Wiseman's research was that Skid Row men spend only about one third of the year on Skid Row. The rest of the time is spent "making the loop"—going from Skid Row to city jail, to county jail, to the state mental hospital, to the missions, and back to Skid Row. While these facilities are designed to handle or rehabilitate Skid Row men, they are actually used by these men as a means of survival.
Based on an ethnographic study spanning four years, George H. Jensen’s Storytelling in Alcoholics Anonymous: A Rhetorical Analysis calls upon Bakhtinian theory to analyze storytelling in AA.
Jensen introduces his study with an analysis of “Bill W.’s Story” as it appears in the first chapter of AA’s central text, Alcoholics Anonymous. Drawing on Walter Ong’s work on orality and literacy, he argues that “Bill W.’s Story” as it appears in print cannot fully capture the oral tradition of storytelling as it occurs in AA meetings.
In his first section, Jensen discusses storytelling as practiced by the Washingtonians, a temperance organization much like AA. He also discusses the influence of the Oxford Group’s (an international and interdenominational religious movement seeking to recapture the enthusiasm and dedication of first-century Christianity) spiritual program to the development of AA’s Twelve Steps. The remainder of the first section serves as an introduction of the culture of AA to outsiders.
In the second section, Jensen covers Bakhtin’s theory of the relationship between the author and the hero of a text, using Lillian Roth’s autobiographies as counterexamples of AA talks. He devotes an entire chapter in this section to explaining how AA meetings provide an example of what Bakhtin meant by carnival, a process through which humor, irony, and parody supply a mechanism for questioning commonly held beliefs. He shows how newcomers to AA move away from their egocentric personae as practicing alcoholics to adopt a new identity within AA. Drawing further on Bakhtin, he examines the autobiographical moments of AA talks, stressing that these moments never become fully autobiographical. AA talks, Jensen argues, are fragmented, yet achieve coherence through the interweaving of two important chronotopes. Finally, using Bakhtin’s discussion of heroes in autobiography, Jensen discusses the kinds of heroes one typically finds in AA talks.
With the rate of cochlear implantation reaching 80% to 90% of all deaf children, some as young as five months old, Surgical Consent: Bioethics and Cochlear Implantation arrives at a critical juncture. This comprehensive collection features essays by Priscilla Alderson, Inger Lise Skog Hansen, Hilde Haualand, volume editor Linda Komesaroff, Paddy Ladd, Harlan Lane, Karen Lloyd, Eithne Mills, Paal Richard Peterson, Gunilla Preisler, Kristina Svartholm, and Michael Uniacke. These worldwide renowned ethicists, educators, and Deaf leaders express their diverse perspectives on the bioethics of childhood cochlear implantation according to their discipline and a number of themes of inquiry: human rights, medical and social ethics, psychology, education, globalization, identity, life pathways, democracy, media, law, and biotechnology.
Drawing on current research, this volume presents the varying reactions around the globe to the high rate of implantation. These views contrast sharply with the medical perspective of deafness overwhelmingly promoted through the media and by the cochlear implantation industry. At the same time, the contributors aim to disrupt the binaries that have long dominated the field of deafness — speech versus sign, instruction through speech and sign systems versus bilingual education, and medical intervention versus cultural membership in the Deaf community.
Surgical Consent begins and ends with the voices of Deaf people. Their articulate and, at times, raw insights clearly delineate the issues of power, positioning, and minority-majority group relations that are inherent in the dominant hearing culture’s understanding of diversity and globalization.
Survivors of political violence give testimonies in families and communities, trials and truth commissions, religious institutions, psychotherapies, newspapers, documentaries, artworks, and even in solitude. Through spoken, written, and visual images, survivors' testimonies tell stories that may change history, politics, and life itself. In this book Stevan Weine, a psychiatrist and scholar in the field of mental health and human rights, focuses on the testimony of survivors for the hope it might hold-hope expressed by survivors again and again that, no matter what horrors or humiliations they have endured, some good might come of their stories. It is through the thinking of Mikhail Bakhtin, and his approach to narrative, that Weine seeks to read the testimony of survivors of political violence from four different twentieth-century historical nightmares--and to read them as the stories they are meant to be, fully conveying their legitimacy, resourcefulness, power--and, finally, hope.
A deeply involving, compassionate, occasionally confrontational blend of practical hands-on experience and dialogic theory, emerging from the author's decade-long work in Europe and Chicago with survivors of the Balkan wars, this book is committed to the proposition that efforts to use testimony to address the consequences of political violence can be strengthened--though by no means guaranteed--if they are based on a fuller acknowledgment of the personal and ethical elements embodied in the narrative essence of testimony. These elements are what Testimony after Catastrophe seeks to reveal.
“I hole up in my own cozy cubicle and write, considering ways to make the approaching Thanksgiving holiday not just another day in this place. In prison, hope faces east; time is measured in wake-ups.”
Time of Grace is a remarkable book, written with great eloquence by a former science teacher who was incarcerated for twelve years for his sexual liaison with a teenage student. Far more than a “prison memoir,” it is an intimate and revealing look at relationships—with fellow humans and with the surprising wildlife of the Sonoran Desert, both inside and beyond prison walls. Throughout, Ken Lamberton reflects on human relations as they mimic and defy those of the natural world, whose rhythms calibrate Lamberton’s days and years behind bars. He writes with candor about his life, while observing desert flora and fauna with the insight and enthusiasm of a professional naturalist.
While he studies a tarantula digging her way out of the packed earth and observes Mexican freetail bats sailing into the evening sky, Lamberton ruminates on his crime and on the wrenching effects it has had on his wife and three daughters. He writes of his connections with his fellow inmates—some of whom he teaches in prison classes—and with the guards who control them, sometimes with inexplicable cruelty. And he unflinchingly describes a prison system that has gone horribly wrong—a system entrapped in a self-created web of secrecy, fear, and lies.
This is the final book of Lamberton’s trilogy about the twelve years he spent in prison. Readers of his earlier books will savor this last volume. Those who are only now discovering Lamberton’s distinctive voice—part poet, part scientist, part teacher, and always deeply, achingly human—will feel as if they are making a new friend.
Gripping, sobering, and beautifully written, Lamberton’s memoir is an unforgettable exploration of crime, punishment, and the power of the human spirit.
Trafficked children are portrayed by the media—and even by child welfare specialists—as hapless victims who are forced to migrate from a poor country to the United States, where they serve as sex slaves. But as Elzbieta M. Gozdziak reveals in Trafficked Children in the United States, the picture is far more complex.
Basing her observations on research with 140 children, most of them girls, from countries all over the globe, Gozdziak debunks many myths and uncovers the realities of the captivity, rescue, and rehabilitation of trafficked children. She shows, for instance, that none of the girls and boys portrayed in this book were kidnapped or physically forced to accompany their traffickers. In many instances, parents, or smugglers paid by family members, brought the girls to the U.S. Without exception, the girls and boys in this study believed they were coming to the States to find employment and in some cases educational opportunities.
Following them from the time they were trafficked to their years as young adults, Gozdziak gives the children a voice so they can offer their own perspective on rebuilding their lives—getting jobs, learning English, developing friendships, and finding love. Gozdziak looks too at how the children’s perspectives compare to the ideas of child welfare programs, noting that the children focus on survival techniques while the institutions focus, not helpfully, on vulnerability and pathology. Gozdziak concludes that the services provided by institutions are in effect a one-size-fits-all, trauma-based model, one that ignores the diversity of experience among trafficked children.
Breaking new ground, Trafficked Children in the United States offers a fresh take on what matters most to these young people as they rebuild their lives in America.
With US soldiers stationed around the world and engaged in multiple conflicts, Americans will be forced for the foreseeable future to come to terms with those permanently disabled in battle. At the moment, we accept rehabilitation as the proper social and cultural response to the wounded, swiftly returning injured combatants to their civilian lives. But this was not always the case, as Beth Linker reveals in her provocative new book, War’s Waste.
Linker explains how, before entering World War I, the United States sought a way to avoid the enormous cost of providing injured soldiers with pensions, which it had done since the Revolutionary War. Emboldened by their faith in the new social and medical sciences, reformers pushed rehabilitation as a means to “rebuild” disabled soldiers, relieving the nation of a monetary burden and easing the decision to enter the Great War. Linker’s narrative moves from the professional development of orthopedic surgeons and physical therapists to the curative workshops, or hospital spaces where disabled soldiers learned how to repair automobiles as well as their own artificial limbs. The story culminates in the postwar establishment of the Veterans Administration, one of the greatest legacies to come out of the First World War.
The temperance movement was the largest single organizing force for women in American history, uniting and empowering women seeking to enact social change. By the end of the century, more than two hundred thousand women had become members of the Woman’s Christian Temperance Union (WCTU), and numerous others belonged to smaller temperance organizations. Despite the impact of the movement, its literature has been largely neglected.
In this collection of nineteen temperance tales, Carol Mattingly has recovered and revalued previously unavailable writing by women. Mattingly’s introduction provides a context for these stories, locating the pieces within the temperance movement as well as within larger issues in women’s studies.
The temperance movement was essential to women’s awareness of and efforts to change gender inequalities in the United States during the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. In their fiction, temperance writers protested physical and emotional abuse at the hands of men, argued for women’s rights, addressed legal concerns, such as divorce and child custody, and denounced gender-biased decisions affecting the care and rights of children. Temperance fiction by women broadens our understanding of the connections between women’s rights and temperance, while shedding light on women’s thinking and behavior in the nineteenth century.
Water Drops from Women Writers features biographical sketches of each writer as well as thirteen illustrations.
Melvin Juette has said that becoming paralyzed in a gang-related shooting was “both the worst and best thing that happened” to him. The incident, he believes, surely spared the then sixteen year-old African American from prison and/or an early death. It transformed him in other ways, too. He attended college and made wheelchair basketball his passion—ultimately becoming a star athlete and playing on the U.S. National Wheelchair Basketball Team.
In Wheelchair Warrior, Juette reconstructs the defining moments of his life with the assistance of sociologist Ronald Berger. His poignant memoir is bracketed by Berger’s thoughtful introduction and conclusion, which places this narrative of race, class, masculinity and identity into proper sociological context, showing how larger social structural forces defined his experiences. While Juette’s story never gives into despair, it does challenge the idea of the “supercrip.”
In recent years, efforts to recognize and accommodate cultural diversity have gained some traction in the politics of US health care. But to date, anthropological perspectives have figured unevenly in efforts to define and address mental health problems. Particularly challenging are examinations of Native peoples’ experiences with alcohol.
Erica Prussing provides the first in-depth assessment of the politics of Native sobriety by focusing on the Northern Cheyenne community in southeastern Montana, where for many decades the federally funded health care system has relied on the Twelve Step program of Alcoholics Anonymous. White Man’s Water provides a thoughtful and careful analysis of Cheyenne views of sobriety and the politics that surround the selective appeal of Twelve Step approaches despite wide-ranging local critiques. Narratives from participants in these programs debunk long-standing stereotypes about ”Indian drinking” and offer insight into the diversity of experiences with alcohol that actually occur among Native North Americans.
This critical ethnography employs vivid accounts of the Northern Cheyenne people to depict how problems with alcohol are culturally constructed, showing how differences in age, gender, and other social features can affect involvement with both drinking and sobriety. These testimonies reveal the key role that gender plays in how Twelve Step program participants engage in a selective and creative process of appropriation at Northern Cheyenne, adapting the program to accommodate local cultural priorities and spiritual resources. The testimonies also illuminate community reactions to these adaptations, inspiring deeper inquiry into how federally funded health services are provided on the reservation.
This book will appeal to readers with an interest in Native studies, ethnography, women’s studies, and medical anthropology. With its critical consideration of how cultural context shapes drinking and sobriety, White Man’s Water offers a multivocal perspective on alcohol’s impact on health and the cultural complexities of sobriety.