Factors Influencing Homeless People's Perception and Use of Urban Space

Persistent Link:
http://hdl.handle.net/10150/195017
Title:
Factors Influencing Homeless People's Perception and Use of Urban Space
Author:
Valado, Martha Trenna
Issue Date:
2006
Publisher:
The University of Arizona.
Rights:
Copyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
Abstract:
In recent years, cities worldwide have employed various tactics to control homeless people's use of urban space. Yet such measures never fully accomplish their goal, because homeless people develop ways to adapt the hostile landscape. In so doing, they not only respond to tactics of spatial control but they also create their own conceptions of urban space that serve to compensate for the structural systems that fail or even punish them. Thus, just as legal categories of property ownership leave homeless people without access to private spaces, they in turn create their own concepts of ownership and continually seek to privatize public space. Whereas legal restrictions are passed that criminalize homelessness in order to protect housed urban residents' "quality-of-life," homeless people develop tactics to protect themselves from the dangers of street life. Just as municipal authorities remove various amenities and add deterrents to try to prevent the use of certain locations, homeless people are attracted and repelled by features that are often beyond the control of authorities. While social services are relocated to encourage either spatial dispersion or concentration, homeless people build internal support networks that often serve their short-term needs better than social services. In short, homeless people not only respond to spatial control tactics in a variety of ways but also create their own landscape that often frustrates attempts to control their use of space. Drawing on interviews with 60 homeless people in Tucson, Arizona, this dissertation attempts to shed light on both these facets of street life, revealing that homeless people constantly strategize to find or make private, safe, functional, comfortable, and supportive places for themselves in a landscape designed to exclude them. Findings indicate that restrictive urban polices aimed at controlling the movements and actions of street people are not only ineffective but also exacerbate the problem of homelessness. These policies have the greatest impact on newly homeless individuals, pushing them toward existing street community in order to access vital information and support networks.
Type:
text; Electronic Dissertation
Keywords:
applied anthropology; homelessness; neoliberalism; consumerism
Degree Name:
PhD
Degree Level:
doctoral
Degree Program:
Anthropology; Graduate College
Degree Grantor:
University of Arizona
Committee Chair:
Mendoza-Denton, Norma

Full metadata record

DC FieldValue Language
dc.language.isoENen_US
dc.titleFactors Influencing Homeless People's Perception and Use of Urban Spaceen_US
dc.creatorValado, Martha Trennaen_US
dc.contributor.authorValado, Martha Trennaen_US
dc.date.issued2006en_US
dc.publisherThe University of Arizona.en_US
dc.rightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.en_US
dc.description.abstractIn recent years, cities worldwide have employed various tactics to control homeless people's use of urban space. Yet such measures never fully accomplish their goal, because homeless people develop ways to adapt the hostile landscape. In so doing, they not only respond to tactics of spatial control but they also create their own conceptions of urban space that serve to compensate for the structural systems that fail or even punish them. Thus, just as legal categories of property ownership leave homeless people without access to private spaces, they in turn create their own concepts of ownership and continually seek to privatize public space. Whereas legal restrictions are passed that criminalize homelessness in order to protect housed urban residents' "quality-of-life," homeless people develop tactics to protect themselves from the dangers of street life. Just as municipal authorities remove various amenities and add deterrents to try to prevent the use of certain locations, homeless people are attracted and repelled by features that are often beyond the control of authorities. While social services are relocated to encourage either spatial dispersion or concentration, homeless people build internal support networks that often serve their short-term needs better than social services. In short, homeless people not only respond to spatial control tactics in a variety of ways but also create their own landscape that often frustrates attempts to control their use of space. Drawing on interviews with 60 homeless people in Tucson, Arizona, this dissertation attempts to shed light on both these facets of street life, revealing that homeless people constantly strategize to find or make private, safe, functional, comfortable, and supportive places for themselves in a landscape designed to exclude them. Findings indicate that restrictive urban polices aimed at controlling the movements and actions of street people are not only ineffective but also exacerbate the problem of homelessness. These policies have the greatest impact on newly homeless individuals, pushing them toward existing street community in order to access vital information and support networks.en_US
dc.typetexten_US
dc.typeElectronic Dissertationen_US
dc.subjectapplied anthropologyen_US
dc.subjecthomelessnessen_US
dc.subjectneoliberalismen_US
dc.subjectconsumerismen_US
thesis.degree.namePhDen_US
thesis.degree.leveldoctoralen_US
thesis.degree.disciplineAnthropologyen_US
thesis.degree.disciplineGraduate Collegeen_US
thesis.degree.grantorUniversity of Arizonaen_US
dc.contributor.chairMendoza-Denton, Normaen_US
dc.contributor.committeememberAustin, Dianeen_US
dc.contributor.committeememberPark, Thomas K.en_US
dc.contributor.committeememberReid, J. Jeffersonen_US
dc.contributor.committeememberZedeno, M. Nievesen_US
dc.identifier.proquest1721en_US
dc.identifier.oclc659747480en_US
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