Hobos, Hustlers, and Backsliders: Homeless in San Francisco by Teresa Gowan

By Teresa Gowan

Winner of the 2011 Robert Park Award for the easiest ebook in neighborhood and concrete Sociology, American Sociological organization, 2011 Co-winner of the 2011 Mary Douglas Prize for top e-book within the Sociology of tradition, American Sociological organization, 2011  When homelessness reemerged in American towns throughout the Nineteen Eighties at degrees no longer obvious because the nice melancholy, it in the beginning provoked surprise and outrage. inside of many years, although, what were perceived as a countrywide quandary got here to be obvious as a nuisance, with early sympathies for the plight of the homeless giving solution to compassion fatigue after which condemnation. Debates round the challenge of homelessness—often set when it comes to sin, illness, and the failure of the social system—have come to profoundly form how homeless humans live to tell the tale 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 impression of the homelessness at the streets, within the shelters, and on public policy. Gowan indicates many of the varied 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 accumulated cans, bottles, and scrap steel; assisting them organize camp; observing 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 exercises, their own tales, and their views on existence at the streets. She observes a variety of survival ideas, from the illicit to the industrious, from drug dealing to dumpster diving. She additionally stumbled on that triumphing discussions approximately homelessness and its causes—homelessness as pathology, homelessness as ethical failure, and homelessness as systemic failure—powerfully impact how homeless humans see themselves and their skill to alter their situation. Drawing on 5 years of fieldwork, this robust ethnography of guys residing at the streets of the main liberal urban in the United States, Hobos, Hustlers, and Backsliders, makes transparent that the way in which we speak about problems with severe poverty has actual effects for a way we handle this problem—and for the homeless themselves.

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Hobos, Hustlers, and Backsliders: Homeless in San Francisco

Winner of the 2011 Robert Park Award for the easiest ebook in group 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 through the Eighties at degrees no longer obvious because the nice melancholy, it firstly provoked surprise and outrage.

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Particularly significant was the reconfiguration of three key institutional fields: welfare, policing, and community action. The great welfare reforms of the 1990s demonstrated the completion of a broad, twenty-year shift away from service provision and cash 67 68 69 52 H O M E L E S S N E S S transfers and back toward the punitive work programs and criminal sanctions that had proliferated i n the United States between 1865 and the New Deal. By signing the momentous (Republican-sponsored) 1996 Family and Personal Responsibility Act, Democratic president Bill Clinton demonstrated the Democratic Party's relinquishment of the policy of using cash transfers to mitigate the effects of social inequality.

Any loitering man without decent clothes was liable to be assaulted as a tramp, even, in some cases, sitting on his own stoop. Reformers in several cities even succeeded in closing down the sleeping place of last resort, the police station itself, arguing that there was insufficient regulation and supervision. I n their struggle to subdue the tramp population, the northern elites followed a road laid by landowners of the postwar South. Following emancipation, large groups of freed slaves fled their places of captivity.

By the late 1870s, provision of municipal outdoor relief had dwindled sharply, and numerous municipalities had divested all responsibility for relief into the hands of private religious organizations. S. poverty management. Concerned w i t h fraud and cultural degeneracy, Charity Organization Societies replaced the relatively neutral financial support offered by ward-level outdoor relief w i t h intimate investigations that invaded the homes and lives of the poor, demanding demonstrations of gratitude and convincing dramas of failure and tragedy.

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