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The other report is published by the U. S. State Department and is more "committed," but only as far as the national interest of the world's only suÂ perpower is concerned. Therefore, the State Department report must be read while keeping in mind the state of U. S. relations with the countries concerned. This report is accompanied by the so-called "certification" process, whose arÂ bitrary character has often been stressed. For instance, Iran, a country whose determination to fight the drug transit on its territory is well-known - more than 100 Iranian law enforcement agents die every year as a restult - was removed from the "blacklist" of "decertified countries" in the spring of 1999, precisely as it was inaugurating a policy of opening itself to external influÂ ence, including that of the United States. In retrospect, this demonstrates that the U. S. government had decertified Iran in past years because it was viewed as an Islamic and terrorist country, not because of its supposed involvement in drug trafficking. Neither does the last State Department report explain why Haji Ayub Afridi, a major Pakistani drug baron, who had voluntarily surrendered to U. S. authorities, returned to Pakistan in 1999 after spending a mere three and a half years in a U. S. prison.
Gender, drugs and street life explores the way girls and boys of white British origin access and participate in legal and illegal drugs, within the context of supply at the local level. It explores the relationship of children and young people to the local drug market from a gendered perspective, and illustrates how their drug behaviours should be understood in both localised and gendered terms.
The book draws on a two-year ethnographic study of children and young people growing up on 'Northside', a small housing estate located on the edge of a large Northern city in England. The book addresses the environment which these young people inhabit, and provides a critical examination of the popular image of the contemporary British housing estate by exploring the political economy of drug dealing and crime at the local level. It also undertakes a detailed exploration and discussion of the gendered nature of drug taking practices and rituals.
By re-engaging with ethnographies this book provides a rich, descriptive account of young people's drug taking practices and behaviours within the context of supply. It also unveils the gendered meaning and context of drug taking and drug selling.
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