Essay about A Sociological Perspective On Homelessness

1359 Words Dec 13th, 2016 6 Pages
Homelessness has always existed as a complex and contentious issue. Approaches to definition, methods of its analysis and solutions to the problem are constantly changing. Over the past century, there has been a shift of focus towards homelessness as a structural issue, not just a pathological one. On the contrary, since the Poor Laws of the 1500s, England’s fundamental relationship with homeless has been grounded in many clear and unchanging stigmas e.g. the deserving and the undeserving. These fundamental themes partially explain how and why policies to manage homelessness can lead to its criminalisation. However, despite historical factors playing a key role in entrenching such perspectives, they are not the primary force. A sociological perspective highlights that the rise of neo-liberalism as the dominant economic doctrine and the ascent of the ‘third way’ as a prevalent political ideology, has had a significant influence on both the public and the politicians approach to this complex issue. The first section of this paper will discuss the broader historical perspective towards homelessness, understanding how it has and has not changed over time. Following this discussion, I will consider contemporary approaches to homelessness through a sociological lens. Accordingly, this essay will connect both the historical and the sociological perspectives exhibiting how and why criminalisation is systematically a part of homelessness policy.
It is crucial to consider that history…

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