The Respondents

  • Angie Heal


Coomber (ibid.) opens his book by stating ‘the first thing to be said about this book is it is not an apologia for drug dealers’ (i). Whilst placing this issue slightly further into this book, I must make a similar assertion; it does not excuse or condone any of the activities and behaviours recounted by the respondents in later chapters. It attempts solely to analyse and document them. One of the aims of this research is similar to that of Bourgois, in his study of Puerto Rican drug dealers in East Side New York: to ‘humanize the public enemies of the United States without sanitizing or glamorizing them’ (2003: 325). This study, conducted with Jamaican men, does not try to portray respondents in any particular light. It simply aims to better understand their lives and contextualise their experiences within the relevant literature, and whilst much of the supporting evidence comes from criminology, it also draws on a number of fields within the social sciences. It is, therefore, an attempt to breakdown some of those research barriers and to plug some of the gaps, in revealing the reality of the lives of some Jamaican men involved in the UK drugs trade. This chapter, therefore, discusses the methodological issues considered during the course of this study. It presents the sample for this research, how they were identified, accessed, interviewed and their accounts analysed.


Crack Cocaine Life Story Drug Dealer Drug Supply Grievous Bodily Harm 
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© Angie Heal 2015

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  • Angie Heal

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