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Shifts and Oscillations in Deviant Careers: The Case of Upper-Level Drug Dealers and Smugglers

Patricia A. Adler and Peter Adler
Social Problems
Vol. 31, No. 2 (Dec., 1983), pp. 195-207
DOI: 10.2307/800211
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/800211
Page Count: 13
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Shifts and Oscillations in Deviant Careers: The Case of Upper-Level Drug Dealers and Smugglers
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Abstract

This is the first study of drug trafficking in the United States to penetrate the upper eschelons of the marijuana and cocaine business--the smugglers and their primary dealers. We spent six years observing and interviewing these traffickers and their associates in southwestern California and examining their typical career paths. We show how drug traffickers enter the business and rise to the top, how they become disenchanted due to the rising social and legal costs of upper-level drug trafficking, how and why they either voluntarily or involuntarily leave the business, and why so many end up returning to their deviant careers, or to other careers within the drug world.

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