Hannah Hunter (Section 1) Less than Human: the Oppression of the Homeless

When you think about the homeless population what comes to mind? For most people, homeless people are tied to a negative stereotype. Many people believe that the homeless are homeless because they are unmotivated, have a substance problem, or have an aversion to work. In my literature review I identify the stigmas homeless people are labeled with and explain why so through Iris Young’s “Five Faces of Oppression”. These faces include exploitation, marginalization, powerlessness, cultural imperialism, and violence. Through literature analyzing the homelessness epidemic, I analyze why these stigmas exist, how the community treats or sees the homeless population, and why these five faces of oppression have left the homeless helpless.

Research Paper

9 thoughts on “Hannah Hunter (Section 1) Less than Human: the Oppression of the Homeless

  • October 16, 2015 at 1:50 am

    First I thought the title was perfect, it definitely set the tone for the overall thesis of your paper. I think the organization of your paper made sense for your topic. Having each paragraph explain and analyze the “five faces of oppression” gave your paper a good outline and allowed your writing to flow really well. The paragraph talking about the role of police and city governance in the treatment of the homeless stuck out to me the most. I found it interesting that certain city’s make their laws to treat homelessness as a crime and that the police treat the homeless as criminals. I did not know how often laws are implemented to keep the homeless from having access to certain areas and keeping patrol of them. Your paper offered a more in-depth analysis that went beyond just “seeing homelessness,” but understanding to why/how it exists and how harmful stereotypes develop from the marginalization and exploitation of these people (who are often not treated as human beings). I would have liked if you had added your own opinions to how structural/social forces in should change to help these issues. For example from all the research that you did to input your own, unique idea/program that you think would work best to achieve change.

  • October 16, 2015 at 3:09 pm

    Julia Barrett- section 1

    I really liked your paper and your topic. I think as a society we have a tendency to criminalize homeless people and we often dehumanize them, forgetting that they are people too. I did an observation-based project in Urban Socg this summer about homelessness in Fredericksburg and I paid a lot of attention to the way community members responded to their presence. I definitely noticed a lot of fear and discomfort from these people, and they would often completely ignore them. I think this definitely plays into the five faces of oppression, and you did a great job of summing these up and bringing them to life.

  • October 19, 2015 at 4:04 am

    Laura Morris- section 2

    I thoroughly enjoyed your research paper. I liked how you looked at homelessness from the perspective of the “faces of oppression”. I am not familiar with the work of Iris Young, but it sounds really interesting. Last semester I did a project on homelessness in Fredericksburg for my social issues class. I talked about aspects of homelessness that are very similar to what you discussed. I was surprised to see how much backlash the community often receives when trying to help the homeless and get them off of the streets. I also looked into the police reports in Fredericksburg and was surprised to see how many reports listed individuals with “no permanent address”, meaning they were homeless. If you are interested in this topic I would highly suggest doing some volunteer work at the local soup kitchens in Fredericksburg. I participated in survey collection at a homeless shelter last semester and learned so much from the individuals I surveyed. There truly are some interesting people in this city and many are not taken seriously simply because they do not have permanent homes. Great project and good job!

  • October 19, 2015 at 4:42 pm

    Your title definitely grabbed my attention, as well as how the content of your paper was laid out. I was able to follow your writing and understand your analyses on the different aspects that contribute to the social stigma of homelessness. I think as a society we put these norms in place because this topic is not easy to face or address. I think you did a great job of expressing the issues at hand, especially in your paragraph about exploitation and marginalization. The statistics of the Charlotte, NC population really opened my eyes and loved how the programs implemented here actually had significant results in reducing student beliefs in stereotypes. Once these stereotypes are broken down, this issue can further progress towards substantial solutions.

    Rachael Harvey – Section 01

  • October 19, 2015 at 5:23 pm

    I really liked the title of your project. It grabbed my attention. I like that you looked at how society puts a stereotype on the homeless population because I see it frequently in Fredericksburg. I’ve done a lot of research on the homeless population and the factors that contribute to their homelessness and I like how you talked about that. I’ve been involved in projects where I was put in places such as DC where homelessness is more prevalent and it’s crazy how people react to the homeless. I think the project is really relevant and really informative.

  • October 19, 2015 at 8:46 pm

    The title “less than human” and then in your paper of “our forgotten neighbors” are vivid. I also wrote of homelessness and I found that, using songs, the homeless are often portrayed as less than human. As you discuss marginalization, the “forgotten neighbor” aspect of your paper really shines for me. I think you do a great job of representing your paper in your abstract. I found it easy to follow and engaging.

  • October 20, 2015 at 12:52 am

    This was an intriguing topic that is especially relevant when it comes to our discussions of displacement and the parallel stigmas that come with that in “Driven from New Orleans.” Your paper was well-organized and clear from the very start, and you developed each of the five faces of oppression with meaningful commentary. It was also especially interesting to see how you used so much language about laws and practices making the homeless feel dehumanized and invisible, because my paper on undocumented people and the “illegal” label they are given elaborates on the very same concept. You did a wonderful job of connecting your sources to the topic while still showing your own voice and understanding. Great work! 🙂

  • October 20, 2015 at 3:19 am

    This paper looked at a lot of the same effects of homelessness and the negativity placed on people suffering from low income that I did in my paper. I focused very closely on shelters and government funded programs in place in Fredericksburg, so it was interesting to look into the programs in place at a national level as well as focusing on other areas in the United States separately. Focusing on the oppression of the homeless was a cool approach to take with the paper. I think the feelings and treatment of the homeless are seen as a burden on society and a bad reputation on communities.

  • October 20, 2015 at 9:18 pm

    Oh my goodness, this was such an interesting topic–so original. I was in New York recently and I was absolutely taken aback by the state of homelessness there. I think your title hit the nail on the head, so many people really do see homeless people as less than human.
    I was really impressed by how organized and clear you are in your writing; your thoughts and transitions all came across clearly. Great paper!

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