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NCJ Number: 221105 Find in a Library
Title: San Francisco's Freelancing Ecstasy Dealers: Towards a Sociological Understanding of Drug Markets
Journal: Journal of Drug Issues  Volume:37  Issue:4  Dated:Fall 2007  Pages:919-950
Author(s): Paloma Sales; Sheigla Murphy
Date Published: 2007
Page Count: 32
Sponsoring Agency: National Institute on Drug Abuse
Bethesda, MD 20892-9561
Grant Number: R01DA14847
Type: Report (Study/Research)
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This paper provides an overview of the motivations and circumstances surrounding the transactions of Ecstasy compared to more marginalized groups from other drug market studies.
Abstract: The findings suggest attention to social characteristics of sellers, and the availability of types of sales setting is critical to developing a sociological understanding of drug markets. Having a private place to sell drugs is a class-related privilege. Selling a drug that is used sporadically and with a benign reputation further differentiates Ecstasy sellers from sellers of marijuana, powder and crack cocaine, and heroin. The research focused on the motivations and circumstances surrounding the decision to initiate sales, sales settings, the characteristics of both sellers and buyers and their relationships, and negotiated order and social identities. Public drug sales expose dealers to the police and upset the members of the neighborhoods in which they take place. Community members’ perceptions of issues of public safety and the infringement of drug selling on their quality of life stigmatizes known drug sellers and increases their likelihood of social or legal reprisal. The social class of Ecstasy drug sellers, mostly White, male, middle class, educated, in school, or employed and housed, protected them from having to take the risks of public sales, or selling to unknown persons and therefore from exposure to criminal justice agents, and social stigma within their communities. Ecstasy dealers in this study had no sophisticated, well-thought-out sales practices because they sold primarily to their friends, and Ecstasy use was sporadic rather than daily. Business transactions were characteristically sporadic and informal. If a dealer’s customers were friends and family, the perception of risk would remain low; the sales practices would remain relaxed and informal. Data were collected from a National Institute of Drug Abuse (NIDA) funded project that interviewed 120 men and women in the San Francisco Bay area who had sold 5 or more doses 5 or more times in the 6 months prior to the interview. Table, figure, note, and references
Main Term(s): Behavior patterns; California; Drug business; Social classes
Index Term(s): Club Drugs; Designer drugs; Drug abuse; Drug purchases; National Institute on Drug Abuse
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