Philippe Bourgois
Professor of Anthropology and Director of Center for Social Medicine at UCLA

areas of expertise
  • Social inequality
  • Violence
  • Substance use disorder
  • Ethnic segregations/conflict
  • Urban anthropology
  • Homelessness 
  • Incarceration
  • Mental illness 
  • HIV prevention 
  • PhD, Anthropology, Stanford University
  • MA, Development Economics, Stanford University
  • MA, Anthropology, Stanford University 
  • BA, Social Studies, Harvard College

Philippe Bourgois is Professor of Anthropology and Director of the Center for Social Medicine and Humanities (Semel Institute/Department of Psychiatry) at UCLA. A proponent of a public anthropology, Dr. Bourgois brings rigorous qualitative methods and critical social science theory to bear on urgent social, public health, clinical problems. He has conducted participant-observation fieldwork in the US inner-city and Central America for over two decades focusing on social inequality, poverty, violence, incarceration, urban segregation, refugee/labor migration trauma, homelessness, substance use disorder, the global narcotics industry, psychosis and HIV.  Best known for his ethnographies In Search of Respect: Selling Crack in El Barrio (Cambridge, 1995) and Righteous Dopefiend (University of California, 2009), he was elected to the American Academy of Arts & Sciences in 2018.

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