Junkie Business: the Evolution and Operation of a Heroin Dealing Network

2763 words 12 pages
1) Brief Overview of the Book Lee D. Hoffer’s “Junkie Business: The Evolution and Operation of a Heroin Dealing Network” is an ethnography that details the buying and dealing of the highly addictive drug, heroin, in the particularly homeless area of Denver, Colorado called “Larimer” from 1995 to the year 2000. The majority of the book focuses on the partnership of two heroin dealers, Kurt and Danny, and examines their daily lifestyles and the transitional periods they faced during their operations. On a much broader level, Hoffer wanted to characterize the heroin dealing occurring on the consumer-oriented side of the heroin dealing business, as well as understand the evolution of Kurt and Danny’s operations. Hoffer’s virtually unlimited …show more content…

Hoffer presents in his book, I believe we must first establish how significant and unparalleled his research, work, and commitment to the study as a whole. Hoffer can largely be considered a pioneer in the study and understanding of the day-to-day life of a heroin dealer and their corresponding operations. Due to the extremely illegal nature of a drug user’s activities, let alone a drug dealer, very little research had been conducted that accurately described the actual operations of a drug sales organization. In fact, as evidenced in the Preface of the book, only two comprehensive ethnographies had been written on these types of organizations since 1985, neither of which had any interaction with heroin (Preface xviii). To further his credibility and expertise, unlike other anthropologist’s field experience, Hoffer “was already in the field when [he] began [his] research and [he] knew Kurt and Danny before either one of them were full-time heroin dealers” (Hoffer 12). He already possessed intimate knowledge of the area, the drug scene, and the lives of Kurt and Danny, which gave him an even more up-close and personal relation to the dealers and their entire operation from the very beginning to the end. The preceding paragraph is meant to detail the knowledge and credibility that Dr. Hoffer possessed as a result of his research. However, it is not meant to say by any means that all of his arguments are