Department of Psychiatry, Resnick Neuropsychiatric Institute, David Geffen School of Medicine, University of California, Los Angeles
Social and Behavioral Sciences
Anthropology and Archaeology
A medical anthropologist and ethnographer of Central America and the urban United States, Philippe Bourgois has pioneered the ethnographic study of homelessness, poverty, segregation, substance abuse, mass incarceration and both criminal and systemic violence in the US inner city. Dr. Bourgois combines ethnography with social theory to document and analyze how political, economic, social, and cultural structures manifest themselves in the everyday despair and intimate violence of vulnerable populations--most notably homeless substance abusers, indigent individuals with serious mental illness and street-level drug sellers. His work has had an impact on national drug prevention policy, and he has trained a generation of physician-social scientists dedicated to caring for and conducting research about underserved populations.