Unwanted: Muslim Immigrants, Dignity and Drug Dealing

Overview

The immigration of Muslims to Europe and the integration of later generations presents many challenges to European societies. Unwanted builds on five years of ethnographic research with a group of fifty-five second-generation Muslim immigrant drug dealers in Frankfurt, Germany to examine the relationship between immigration, social exclusion, and the informal economy. Having spent countless hours with these young men, hanging out in the streets, in cafes or bars and at the local community center, Sandra Bucerius ...

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Unwanted: Muslim Immigrants, Dignity, and Drug Dealing

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Overview

The immigration of Muslims to Europe and the integration of later generations presents many challenges to European societies. Unwanted builds on five years of ethnographic research with a group of fifty-five second-generation Muslim immigrant drug dealers in Frankfurt, Germany to examine the relationship between immigration, social exclusion, and the informal economy. Having spent countless hours with these young men, hanging out in the streets, in cafes or bars and at the local community center, Sandra Bucerius explores the intimate aspects of one of the most discriminated and excluded populations in Germany. Bucerius looks at how the young men negotiate their participation in the drug market while still trying to adhere to their cultural and religious obligations and how they struggle to find a place within German society. The young men considered their involvement in the drug trade a response to their exclusion at the same time that it provides a means of forging an identity and a place within German society. The insights into the lives, hopes, and dreams of these young men, who serve as an example for many Muslim and otherwise marginalized immigrant youth groups in Western countries, provides the context necessary to understand their actions while never obscuring the many contradictory facets of their lives.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"This is one of the most exciting and original ethnographic studies on drug dealing I have read in a long time. It is the German counterpart of classical American studies as Philip Bourgois' In Search of Respect or Elijah Anderson's Code of the Street. The setting is not an American ghetto but a Frankfurt neighborhood in an advanced German welfare state. Bucerius has drawn on her extensive fieldwork in the neighborhood of Bockenheim to present an ethnography that explains the lifestyles and social exclusion of a group of second generation immigrants with a Muslim background that are involved in drug dealing. Her enduring fieldwork in a combination with her theoretical lenses based on Pierre Bourdieu, Mary Douglas and Max Weber offer an explanation why these young men choose to become drug dealers. It is a stunning achievement written with civic involvement, as well with academic detachment and humor." —Godfried Engbersen, Professor of Sociology, Erasmus University Rotterdam

"In the tradition of the best urban ethnographies, Unwanted provides an insightful look at the lives of second generation Muslim immigrant young men involved in Frankfurt's drug economy. Sandra Bucerius deftly navigates structure, culture, and agency, grappling with how macro-level forces in German society impact the lives of young men she describes as 'perpetual foreigners,' and how their identity work constructs meaning in the face of marginalization and crime involvement. Unwanted illuminates unique features of the German context, while offering larger lessons for scholars who seek to better understand social exclusion and its impacts. It is an important and timely contribution." —Jody Miller, Professor of Criminal Justice, Rutgers University

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780199856473
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press
  • Publication date: 9/17/2014
  • Series: Studies in Crime and Public Policy Series
  • Edition number: 3
  • Pages: 272
  • Product dimensions: 6.10 (w) x 9.30 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

Sandra M. Bucerius is Assistant Professor of Sociology and Criminology at the University of Alberta.

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Table of Contents

Chapter 1: Introduction

Chapter 2: "I Am a Bockenheimer": Social Exclusion and Local Identification

Chapter 3: "As Long as You Don't Get Carried Away": On Choosing Lifestyle and Gaining Respect

Chapter 4: "I'm Not a Dirty Crack Dealer": Purity and Impurity in the Drug Market

Chapter 5: Muslim Virgin Wanted: In Search of Reasons to Quite Dealing

Chapter 6: Where to Go from Here?

Appendix: "Somehow you're a friend even though you're a woman" Some Thoughts on Negotiating Access and Trust

References

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