In Hustle I examine how my subjects in a variety of illegal and illicit professions establish personal and professional identities outside conventional markets and the conventional legal order. How do they negotiate with other actors in their world? What sort of practices do they establish? Which sorts of objects become significant? More fundamentally, I examine how these negotiations establish a sense of order in their social and professional lives. I also explore how the economic form of their transactions, using cash versus credit arrangements, not only shaped relations with colleagues and customers but were also shaped by those relations: the greater the risks posed by interpersonal intimacy, the more likely they were to demand immediate payment in cash to balance the sense of risk; where there was a belief that risk wouldn't be heightened by intimacy, they were more likely to adopt an intimately friendly stance with customers and to offer, even to prefer, informal credit arrangements.

I teach a course at Princeton University (SOC 223: Hustles and Hustlers) based on this work and my Deep Web research.