Homelessness - Research Article from Encyclopedia of Sociology

This encyclopedia article consists of approximately 17 pages of information about Homelessness.
This section contains 4,767 words
(approx. 16 pages at 300 words per page)
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Literal homelessness—lacking permanent housing of one's own—is a condition that has been present throughout human history. It has always been dangerous as well, given the necessity of shelter for survival. Nevertheless, the routine occurrence of homelessness in the past probably prevented the problem from generating any extraordinary degree of collective concern. Members of premodern societies often experienced losses or disruptions of residence as a result of food scarcity, natural disaster, epidemic disease, warfare, and other environmental and self-inflicted circumstances. Such forces contributed to the likelihood, if not the expectation, that most people would be homeless at some point in the life cycle.

Ironically, now that homelessness is relatively rare in Western societies, it has achieved a special notoriety. When shelter security becomes the norm, the significance of housing evolves beyond the purely functional. Homes, like jobs, constitute master statuses, anchoring their occupants in the stratification system...

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This section contains 4,767 words
(approx. 16 pages at 300 words per page)
Buy the Homelessness Encyclopedia Article
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Macmillan
Homelessness from Macmillan. Copyright © 2001-2006 by Macmillan Reference USA, an imprint of the Gale Group. All rights reserved.