Mercer Sullivan

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Ethnodrama and Reality

Commentary on "The House That Crack Built"

A response to "The House That Crack Built."

This is a fascinating portrayal of an institution that has gained considerable notoriety among Americans who have never been near such a place or substance. The vivid imagery and vibrant, if shocking, language will probably crystallize for readers the image of the crack house more than detached journalistic accounts have. This piece is neither journalism, fiction, nor ethnography. Its closest equivalent may be the television docudrama. Perhaps we could call it an ethnodrama.