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Wheeling & Dealing
An Ethnography of an Upper-Level Drug Dealing and Smuggling Community
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Author(s) :
Patricia Adler
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Pub Date :
Edition(s) at Erowid :
Publisher :
Columbia University Press
Wheeling and Dealing is a vivid account of the world inhabited by "wholesale" illicit drug traffickers. Based on six years of participant observation, fieldwork, and extensive interviews in an elite Southern California community of dealers, the book gives a rare glimpse into the decadent yet fascinating "subculture of drug trafficking and unending partying, mixed with occasional cloak-and-dagger subterfuge."

This second edition brings the story up to date by revealing the fate of several of Adler's key informants. By tracing their lives over a fifteen-year span, Adler offers a unique longitudinal perspective on deviant careers and the reintegration of dealers into conventional society. She also analyzes the unintended consequences of the federal government's war on drug, tying it to the increasing violence and organizational sophistication of drug traffickers and the rise of international cartels.

"What the reader gets for the author's effort is a gem of a book. It makes significant contributions as an ethnography, with its discussion of research techniques, strategies, and issues, and for its penetration and analysis of a deviant lifestyle: a lifestyle into which few people outside the subculture are able to gain entree and few people inside the subculture are able to describe scientifically."
-- Journal of Contemporary Ethnography

"A persuasive, credible, and imaginative analysis of a rather unusual and fascinating segment of social life. . . . The very modest tone, scope, and aim of this tightly argued ethnographic work belies its profound and penetrating analysis of the drift of American life."
-- Peter Mannine, Contemporary Sociology

Patricia Adler is Assistant Professor of Sociology at the University of Colorado, Boulder. She and her husband, Peter Adler, have coauthored numerous articles and books, including backboards and Blackboards: College Athletes and Role Engulfment, published by Columbia University Press.