Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Hobos, Hustlers, and BackslidersHomeless in San Francisco$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Teresa Gowan

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780816648696

Published to Minnesota Scholarship Online: August 2015

DOI: 10.5749/minnesota/9780816648696.001.0001

Show Summary Details

Managing Homelessness in the United States

Managing Homelessness in the United States

(p.27) Two Managing Homelessness in the United States
Hobos, Hustlers, and Backsliders

Teresa Gowan

University of Minnesota Press

This chapter examines three primary constructions of homelessness that it argues have historically dominated understandings of homelessness in America: homelessness as moral offense, homelessness as pathology, and homelessness as the product of systemic injustice or instability in the social system. Each of these discursive logics—sin-talk, sick-talk, and system-talk—represents a structure of meaning and intention, a magnetic force that lends coherence, authority, and legitimacy to everyday speech and practices within the field of homelessness. Each discourse on homelessness shares with its related construction of poverty the same fundamental strategies for managing the disruly poor. Sin-talk summons up the twin strategies of exclusion and punishment, sick-talk calls for treatment, and system-talk recommends broader social regulation, reform, or even transformation.

Keywords:   homelessness, moral offense, pathology, injustice, social system, poverty, exclusion, punishment, treatment, social regulation

Minnesota Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs, and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us.