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Successful Female Crack Dealer: Case Study of a Deviant Career

NCJ Number
Deviant Behavior: An Interdisciplinary Journal Volume: 15 Dated: (1994) Pages: 1-25
Date Published
25 pages
This paper traces the career of a successful female crack dealer in Harlem, New York, who uses techniques common among middle-class drug dealers rather than techniques more typical of an inner city location.
She is a crack addict as well as a crack dealer and has managed to avoid both arrest and dereliction. Her career has evolved around shifts in the drug market, from marijuana to cocaine to crack. Her operations illustrate an unknown side of the drug economy, the world of the older, better educated, middle-class drug user. Her career reveals how gender affects drug distribution in a profession dominated by males and shows how those involved in deviant activities cope with social opprobrium and attempt to justify their behavior. The relative success of the female crack dealer is attributed to a unique combination of historical contingencies, personal qualities, and career choices. Her successful techniques are based on catering to working and middle-class drug users, avoiding the street market, maintaining good relations with her neighbors, providing a setting appropriate to client needs, managing effects of crack on customers, managing customer finances, controlling unruly customers, choosing suppliers carefully, avoiding unwanted sexual attention, and controlling personal consumption. 45 references

Date Published: January 1, 1994