Dr. Furst received an MA in sociology from City College (CUNY) and a PhD in sociology from the Graduate Faculty, The New School for Social Research. He served on the faculties of the College of Staten Island, the University of Illinois at Chicago, the University of Alberta, and New York University. Dr. Furst is currently an assistant professor of anthropology at John Jay College of Criminal Justice. His focus over the last two decades has been on ethnographic research on subcultures of drug abusers, illegal drug markets, sex workers, street level drug dealers, the transmission of HIV among injecting drug users, the evaluation of street outreach intervention workers, the adulteration of heroin in New York City, and the diffusion of heroin in the mid-Hudson region of New York State, stop and frisk in New York City, and the stigmatized status of cigarette smokers in New York City.
His research also includes the evaluation of Buprenorphine among opiate dependent patients, misuse, and the diffusion of the drug. Within these research domains, he has incorporated theoretical concepts about social status, stigma, and societal processes engendering emergent norms. He has also conducted research on the occupation subculture of professional boxers, and the construction of competitive games for the mildly retarded. His doctoral dissertation was on the socio-historic image of the professional baseball player in the 19th Century. He has published in all the aforementioned areas. In an editorial on Dr. Furst’s study of heroin diffusion in the mid-Hudson region in New York State published in Addiction (2004, 99: pp 431-441), the editor noted: “This is an important study….the authors are to be commended for completing this field study of heroin diffusion.”