By Teresa Gowan
Winner of the 2011 Robert Park Award for the easiest publication in neighborhood and concrete Sociology, American Sociological organization, 2011 Co-winner of the 2011 Mary Douglas Prize for top publication within the Sociology of tradition, American Sociological organization, 2011 When homelessness reemerged in American towns throughout the Eighties at degrees now not visible because the nice melancholy, it at first provoked surprise and outrage. inside of many years, in spite of the fact that, what were perceived as a countrywide situation got here to be obvious as a nuisance, with early sympathies for the plight of the homeless giving approach to compassion fatigue after which condemnation. Debates round the challenge of homelessness—often set by way of sin, affliction, and the failure of the social system—have come to profoundly form how homeless humans continue to exist and make experience in their plights. In Hobos, Hustlers, and Backsliders, Teresa Gowan vividly depicts the lives of homeless males in San Francisco and analyzes the impact of the homelessness at the streets, within the shelters, and on public policy. Gowan exhibits the various various ways in which males in the street in San Francisco fight for survival, autonomy, and self-respect. residing for weeks at a time between homeless men—working side-by-side with them as they gathered cans, bottles, and scrap steel; assisting them manage camp; looking at and listening as they panhandled and hawked newspapers; and accompanying them into soup kitchens, jails, welfare places of work, and shelters—Gowan immersed herself of their workouts, their own tales, and their views on lifestyles at the streets. She observes a variety of survival options, from the illicit to the industrious, from drug dealing to dumpster diving. She additionally stumbled on that winning discussions approximately homelessness and its causes—homelessness as pathology, homelessness as ethical failure, and homelessness as systemic failure—powerfully have an effect on how homeless humans see themselves and their skill to alter their situation. Drawing on 5 years of fieldwork, this robust ethnography of fellows dwelling at the streets of the main liberal urban in the US, Hobos, Hustlers, and Backsliders, makes transparent that the way in which we speak about problems with severe poverty has actual results for the way we handle this problem—and for the homeless themselves.
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Extra resources for Hobos, Hustlers, and Backsliders: Homeless in San Francisco
60 W A T C H O U T , S A N FRANCISCO . 1 " I don't know about his company. He just seems like he's g-got l hat BS smile, like he's trying to take you for a fool. " Del seemed offended by the unwillingness of the pro recyclers to give him the time of day.
Yet the complex, unpredictable dialectic of history was at work, and the very successes of the New Deal laid the foundations for its death. Without the big government of mass mortgage subsidies, highway 42 M A N A G I N G H O M E L E S S N E S S creation, legalized trade unionism, and Social Security, many of the white working-class bootstrappers of the 1950s would have remained in the cities, more dependent on urban public goods —public schools, hospitals, libraries, parks —and thus more willing to spend their tax dollars on them.
47 M A N A G I N G H O M E L E S S N E S S M A N A G I N G I f the operations of many of the new homelessness institutions took on the sin-talk of the long-standing mission tradition, the more liberal institutions set up intimate connections between charitable volunteer and grateful recipient, creating ties of deference and obligation across social classes. The liberal food programs and houses of hospitality run by the most fiery homelessness advocates settled into day-today practices that were fundamentally quietist, emphasizing volunteers' closeness to and acceptance of the homeless rather than the prevention of homelessness.
Hobos, Hustlers, and Backsliders: Homeless in San Francisco by Teresa Gowan