POST 2: Stigmatisation and the Concept of Homeless.

– Written By Maria Yanovsky 2016.

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Before reading these articles and formulating the following analysis it is important to note this particular TED talk. Becky Blanton explores the concept of ‘home’ and its relevence to the stimga of being homless, explaining that being homless is also a state of being that isn’t regognised by even by homeless marginalised groups. (Blanton, 2009)

ARTICLE ONE

“Caring about homelessness: how identity work maintains the stigma of homelessness”

“Caring about homelessness: how identity work maintains the stigma of homelessness” was written with the combined efforts of Barbara Schneider and Chasten Remillard. Schneider is a Professor in the College of Education and Department of Sociology at MSU and Remillard is a communications scholar interested in questions of social and environmental justice. They both belong to university, academic bodies and appear to be well accredited within their chosen fields of research. Both these authors have many years of research under their belt which compared to the media secondary sources, enhances the depth of understanding for the reader and gives the impression that they are most definitely experts within their field. The paper mentions many psychology and theorists and is riddled with references and examinations of other academic writings enriching the text further.
The tone of this article is akin to that found in anthropological papers. The authors develop a detached, distant voice that is looking at the issue outside of the scope of emotional judgement. The authors are exploring the psychology of a social stigma rather than making a judgemental comment. Because of the nature of the paper, this article generally lacks bias (cold, and clinical examination), however there are snippets of passionate quips that indicate the authors expertise is not mechanical. Both the authors examine the various stigmas that are associated with the identification, exclusion and associations with the homeless as a deeper psychological manifestation of human insecurity. The authors examine various positions on stigma such as public stigma, which refers to the phenomenon of large groups holding and acting on negative stereotypes, concept of structural or institutional stigma, which refers to the discriminatory consequences, intended or unintended, of government or private organisational policies existential stigma, in which a person does not cause the stigma, achieved stigma in which a person is stigmatized because of his or her own conduct And lastly stigma unintentionally generated through good will behaviour.
This all aims to demonstrate that through social discourse there is a significant divide, creating social exclusion which hinders in rectifying a serious problem. Once this understanding is applied to (say for example) data taken from the various graph representations of the perception of homelessness in Australia and possible solutions it becomes apparent that government funding and intervention is not the only resolution strategy that needs to be re-examined.

Schneider, B./.R.,Chaseten January 2013, ‘Caring about homelessness: how identity work maintains the stigma of homelessness”‘, Text & Talk, vol. Volume 33, no. Issue 1, Pages 95–112, viewed August 2016, <https://www.degruyter.com/view/j/text.2013.33.issue-1/text-2013-0005/text-2013-0005.xml>.


ARTICLE TWO

Written by no mentioned name, this report is owned by the Non Government Organisation, Homeless Australia who’s CEO and main point of contact is Glenda Stevens. Homelessness Australia (HA) is the national peak body for homelessness in Australia that provide systemic advocacy for the homelessness sector. Their main aim being to improve community awareness and understanding. Demonstrated by the previous article analysed, there are serious barriers to improving the homelessness situation because of the perpetuated stigmas associated with the populace affected by this issue, which are often misguided or uninformed understandings. This report aimed to demonstrate the different perceptions towards homelessness and compare those statistics to the “matter of fact” type statistics that were gathered in the context of homeless. The article is a rigorously researched response used for advocacy for the  8th National Homelessness conference, in September 2014 in Australia. Therefore, the article is inclined to the to the data being collected for example, work in favour of the homeless and presents the bias’s of the Non Government organisation who and are almost (in their own attempt) speaking on behalf of homeless people.
To tie in with the previous article, it was important to examine and analyse this (particular)report to form a conceptual synergy between theory and numerical statistics. Having read the previous article that is an academic exploration of the theorised psychology, this article strings together a fully stitched picture which many media articles will not touch base on as their main point of attack, has often been political players and their policies. The report shows that most of the perceived assumptions were the complete opposite to the actual facts being collected for example the location in which homeless people are often found, was originally assumed to be on the street, but data suggests that its actually in over crowded support housing. Perceptions of homelessness created for the Homelessness Australia organisation. is a survey conducted in 2014 for Homelessness Australia conducted a survey using the Pricewater House Coopers mobile phone survey tool, posing six key questions that were to gauge not only current statistics of homeless people, but to get a gauge of the attitudes, assumptions and associations with the homeless population within Australia.
From these two articles, it became clear that Stigma is a complex and entrenching systems of beliefs. As an umbrella term, it is important to break it down to understand how it happens, to determines why it happens to further determine how to fix it. Within further blog posts I would love to examine the overall impact of Stigma and how this affects people within homeless communities.
Homeless Australia 2014, ‘Perceptions of Homelessness‘, viewed August 2016, <http://www.homelessnessaustralia.org.au/index.php/research-resources/policy-subs/perceptions-of-homelessness>.

 

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Blanton, B. 2009 · 7:09 · Filmed Jul 2009, The year I was homeless, TEDGlobal 2009, viewed August 2016, <https://www.ted.com/talks/becky_blanton_the_year_i_was_homeless?language=en>.