Download How It Works: Recovering Citizens in Post-Welfare by Robert P. Fairbanks II PDF

By Robert P. Fairbanks II

Of the a few sixty thousand vacant homes in Philadelphia, 1/2 them are deserted row homes. Taken as an entire, those derelict houses characterize the city’s plight within the wake of business decline. yet a more in-depth glance finds a notable new phenomenon—street-level marketers repurposing hundreds and hundreds of those empty homes as amenities for improving addicts and alcoholics. the way it Works is a compelling examine of this restoration apartment move and its position within the new city order wrought via welfare reform. To discover what existence is like in those restoration homes, Robert P. Fairbanks II is going within one specific domestic within the Kensington local. working with out a license and unregulated through any executive place of work, the restoration condominium presents meals, preserve, corporation, and a bracing self-help philosophy to addicts in a space saturated with medications and devastated via poverty. From this starkly shiny close-up, Fairbanks widens his lens to bare the complicated relationships the restoration homes have cast with public welfare, the formal drug remedy area, felony justice associations, and the neighborhood govt.

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I argue that Kensington recovery houses have become viable and sustainable informal economies by promulgating systems of knowledge/power that are attuned to the contingencies of the social, economic, and welfare politics of the contemporary age. In so doing, the book recasts conventional arguments about informal poverty survival strategies that focus on re-moralizing the poor or eradicating their malfeasance. It does so by establishing reconstitutive links between state restructuring, the production of poverty, the production and regulation of recovering subjects, and the rescaling of urban governance.

Always a heavy drinker, he became a “fullfledged alcoholic, drug addict, and gambling addict” after the accident. He received disability insurance for the loss of his leg, but, no longer bound by the rhythms of steady employment, he proceeded to launch “full force” into addiction. According to the recovery narrative that he shared often, he lost his marriage, home, and family and ultimately became embroiled in the K&A underworld of drug dealers, bookies, and loan sharks. Frank got another job as an orderly at a local hospital, but he continued to spend virtually all of his waking hours in the drug subculture.

While the concept of governmentality has not been monopolized by a single methodological approach, the analytical tradition is best known for mapping discursive shifts in governmental rationalities, primarily under the auspices of political theory and philosophy. Despite the conceptual advances in these areas, the empirical payoffs have been questionable for scholars in social welfare and urban studies. This book is forged on the assertion that there are real contributions to be made through an ethnographic approach to governmentality.

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