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You Owe Yourself a Drunk: An Ethnography of Urban Nomads
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You Owe Yourself a Drunk: An Ethnography of Urban Nomads

3.9  ·  Rating details ·  58 Ratings  ·  4 Reviews
An account of the experiences of men who are repeatedly arrested for public drunkenness. This book challenges the idea that these men are simply rejects from society, who cannot organize their behavior by cultural traditions. Using the recently discovered methods of formal ethnographic analysis, the author presents this urban sub-culture as it relates to law enforcement ag ...more
Paperback, 301 pages
Published October 8th 1999 by Waveland Press (first published May 28th 1970)
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Matt
Feb 12, 2014 rated it really liked it
Kind of a strange book-- on the one hand, it's not as luridly fascinating a book as you'd hope for, short on event and high stakes drama. But then, Spradley's methodology-- almost entirely linguistic, as if anticipating the deconstructive turn-- is wild and incredibly strange, at least to me, though I won't to try "componential analysis" with every group of people. And by the end, the stories of what tramps endured, and Spradley's quiet humanism and respect for the tramps is striking and admirab ...more
Jen
Jul 19, 2011 rated it really liked it
I was expecting an ethnography of alcoholics. What I got was an analysis of prison life and over-zealous criminalization. I know that this is a classic, but it was better than I expected. Also useful for those thinking about various ethnographic methods for studying closed groups. Spradley does a variety of things, with varied results. Its an interesting read with a lot to take away.
Misty
Mar 14, 2010 rated it liked it
one of the books that moved me to my major of anthropology. Insightful
Becky
Sep 24, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Everyone in Seattle should read this book!
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