The first part of the book provides reflections on urban poverty; the second part discusses the widely debated idea of an "underclass" and its meanings in Europe and in the USA, and the final part draws on concrete empirical analyses to examine the patterns of poverty thoughout Western Europe.
This volume will be of first-rate importance to all serious students of politics, sociology, geography, public policy, youth and community studies, social policy and American studies.
Winner of the 2011 Robert Park Award for the Best Book in Community and Urban Sociology, American Sociological Association, 2011
Co-winner of the 2011 Mary Douglas Prize for Best Book in the Sociology of Culture, American Sociological Association, 2011When homelessness reemerged in American cities during the 1980s at levels not seen since the Great Depression, it initially provoked shock and outrage. Within a few years, however, what had been perceived as a national crisis came to be seen as a nuisance, with early sympathies for the plight of the homeless giving way to compassion fatigue and then condemnation. Debates around the problem of homelessness—often set in terms of sin, sickness, and the failure of the social system—have come to profoundly shape how homeless people survive and make sense of their plights. In Hobos, Hustlers, and Backsliders, Teresa Gowan vividly depicts the lives of homeless men in San Francisco and analyzes the influence of the homelessness industry on the streets, in the shelters, and on public policy. Gowan shows some of the diverse ways that men on the street in San Francisco struggle for survival, autonomy, and self-respect. Living for weeks at a time among homeless men—working side-by-side with them as they collected cans, bottles, and scrap metal; helping them set up camp; watching and listening as they panhandled and hawked newspapers; and accompanying them into soup kitchens, jails, welfare offices, and shelters—Gowan immersed herself in their routines, their personal stories, and their perspectives on life on the streets. She observes a wide range of survival techniques, from the illicit to the industrious, from drug dealing to dumpster diving. She also discovered that prevailing discussions about homelessness and its causes—homelessness as pathology, homelessness as moral failure, and homelessness as systemic failure—powerfully affect how homeless people see themselves and their ability to change their situation. Drawing on five years of fieldwork, this powerful ethnography of men living on the streets of the most liberal city in America, Hobos, Hustlers, and Backsliders, makes clear that the way we talk about issues of extreme poverty has real consequences for how we address this problem—and for the homeless themselves.
A small city located in the northwest of the UK, Chester is economically supported by its heritage and the tourism that this attracts. In an obvious sense, the awkwardness of the phrase ‘being with a group of chronically homeless people’ is regrettable. Nevertheless, this unfortunately self-conscious phrase is significant, with its importance residing in the word and concept of ‘being’.
Whilst philosophical understandings of being are often thought about in rather abstract terms, The Philosophy of Homelessness explores the daily experience of chronic homelessness from a perspective that renders its ontological impress in ways that are explicitly felt, often in forms that are overtly political and exclusionary in character, especially in terms of identity and belonging within the city.
Themes that emerge from the work, which coalesce around living in the margins of the city and experiencing only the shadow of the right to be, include: the economy of chronic addiction and its impact upon the body; the relationship between chronic homelessness and the law; and chronic homelessness and identity and desire. These themes are explored through a number of thinkers, though predominantly: Nietzsche, Lacan, Bourdieu and Kristeva.
This work is likely to be of interest to anyone working in the fields of: criminology; sociology, especially those areas concerned with marginalised groups; and philosophy in its socially and politically engaged forms; as well as to those with an interest in homelessness.
The scene is Baltimore. Twice every three days another citizen is shot, stabbed, or bludgeoned to death. At the center of this hurricane of crime is the city's homicide unit, a small brotherhood of hard men who fight for whatever justice is possible in a deadly world.
David Simon was the first reporter ever to gain unlimited access to a homicide unit, and this electrifying book tells the true story of a year on the violent streets of an American city. The narrative follows Donald Worden, a veteran investigator; Harry Edgerton, a black detective in a mostly white unit; and Tom Pellegrini, an earnest rookie who takes on the year's most difficult case, the brutal rape and murder of an eleven-year-old girl.
Originally published fifteen years ago, Homicide became the basis for the acclaimed television show of the same name. This new edition—which includes a new introduction, an afterword, and photographs—revives this classic, riveting tale about the men who work on the dark side of the American experience.