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From Treatment to Containment to Enterprise: An Ethno-history of Therapeutic Communities in Puerto Rico, 1961–1993

Parker, CM; (2020) From Treatment to Containment to Enterprise: An Ethno-history of Therapeutic Communities in Puerto Rico, 1961–1993. Culture, Medicine and Psychiatry , 44 pp. 135-157. 10.1007/s11013-019-09642-9. Green open access

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Abstract

Unpaid work is now a central therapy in Puerto Rican therapeutic communities, where substance users reside and seek to rehabilitate each other, often for years at a time. Once a leading treatment for addiction in mainland United States, therapeutic communities were scaled back in the 1970s after they lost federal endorsement. They continue to flourish in Puerto Rico for reasons that have less to do with their curative powers than with their malleability as multi-purpose social enterprises and their historical co-option by state, market and family actors who have deployed them for a variety of purposes. Their endurance from the 1960s to the neoliberal present obliges us to recognize their capacities as what Mizruchi calls abeyance mechanisms whereby ‘surplus’ populations, otherwise excluded from labor and home, are absorbed into substitute livelihoods. Having initially emerged as a low-cost treatment, in a context of mass unemployment and prison-overcrowding they now thrive as institutions of containment and informal enterprise.

Type: Article
Title: From Treatment to Containment to Enterprise: An Ethno-history of Therapeutic Communities in Puerto Rico, 1961–1993
Location: Netherlands
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1007/s11013-019-09642-9
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1007/s11013-019-09642-9
Language: English
Additional information: This version is the author accepted manuscript. For information on re-use, please refer to the publisher’s terms and conditions.
Keywords: Abeyance, Drug addiction, Puerto Rico, Surplus, Therapeutic communities, Adult, Humans, Puerto Rico, Residential Treatment, Substance-Related Disorders, Therapeutic Community
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of S&HS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of S&HS > Dept of Anthropology
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10181751
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