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Hobos, Hustlers, and Backsliders – Homeless in San Francisco - Minnesota Scholarship Online
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Hobos, Hustlers, and Backsliders: Homeless in San Francisco

Teresa Gowan


When 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. This book depicts the live ... More

Keywords: homelessness, sin, sickness, homeless men, public policy, autonomy, self-respect, San Francisco, poverty, ethnography

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2010 Print ISBN-13: 9780816648696
Published to Minnesota Scholarship Online: August 2015 DOI:10.5749/minnesota/9780816648696.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Teresa Gowan, author