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The Visible Poor

The Visible Poor Journal of Social Distress and the Homeless, Vol. 2, No. 1, 1993 Review Essay 1 2 Ira L. Mandelker • The Visible Poor: Homelessness in the United States. By Joel Blau. New York: Oxford University Press, 1992, 235 pp. Joel Blau's The Visible Poor: Homelessness in the United States is a fine survey of contemporary American homelessness for the general reader. We find the now mandatory "Who are the homeless" chapter, but Blau tries to go beyond "myth" debunking to give it a cultural spin. He is only partially successful, but its a good beginning. Anyone who has read more than one recent survey of homelessness knows the "myths": Myth 1: Most homeless people are mentally ill. Myth 2: Drugs and alcohol are the primary causes of homelessness. Myth 3: The homeless are lazy misfits who have brought their situ- ation upon themselves. The "American" belief that poor people are responsible for their own poverty, Blau claims, is the common thread connecting these myths. I am not convinced that the first myth is tied by this thread. Modern mainstream lay thinking, even when it anthropomorphizes illness, typically grants the mentally ill "victim's" status: they suffer from their disabilities, rather http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Journal of Social Distress and Homeless Taylor & Francis

The Visible Poor

The Visible Poor

Abstract

Journal of Social Distress and the Homeless, Vol. 2, No. 1, 1993 Review Essay 1 2 Ira L. Mandelker • The Visible Poor: Homelessness in the United States. By Joel Blau. New York: Oxford University Press, 1992, 235 pp. Joel Blau's The Visible Poor: Homelessness in the United States is a fine survey of contemporary American homelessness for the general reader. We find the now mandatory "Who are the homeless" chapter, but Blau tries to go beyond "myth" debunking to...
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Publisher
Taylor & Francis
Copyright
Copyright 1993 Taylor and Francis Group LLC
ISSN
1573-658X
eISSN
1053-0789
DOI
10.1007/BF01072433
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Journal of Social Distress and the Homeless, Vol. 2, No. 1, 1993 Review Essay 1 2 Ira L. Mandelker • The Visible Poor: Homelessness in the United States. By Joel Blau. New York: Oxford University Press, 1992, 235 pp. Joel Blau's The Visible Poor: Homelessness in the United States is a fine survey of contemporary American homelessness for the general reader. We find the now mandatory "Who are the homeless" chapter, but Blau tries to go beyond "myth" debunking to give it a cultural spin. He is only partially successful, but its a good beginning. Anyone who has read more than one recent survey of homelessness knows the "myths": Myth 1: Most homeless people are mentally ill. Myth 2: Drugs and alcohol are the primary causes of homelessness. Myth 3: The homeless are lazy misfits who have brought their situ- ation upon themselves. The "American" belief that poor people are responsible for their own poverty, Blau claims, is the common thread connecting these myths. I am not convinced that the first myth is tied by this thread. Modern mainstream lay thinking, even when it anthropomorphizes illness, typically grants the mentally ill "victim's" status: they suffer from their disabilities, rather

Journal

Journal of Social Distress and HomelessTaylor & Francis

Published: Jan 1, 1993

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