Confronting Homelessness: Poverty, Politics, and the Failure of Social PolicyDavid Wagner with Jennifer Barton Gilman
Choice Outstanding Academic Book!
Whose fault is homelessness? Thirty years ago the problem exploded as a national crisis, drawing the attention of activists, the media, and policymakers at all levels—yet the homeless population endures to this day, and arguably has grown. David Wagner offers a major reconsideration of homelessness in the US, casting a critical eye on how we as a society respond to crises of inequality and stratification.
Incorporating local studies into a national narrative, Wagner probes how homelessness shifted from being the subject of a politically charged controversy over poverty and social class to posing a functional question of social-service delivery. At the heart of his analysis is a provocative insight into why we accept highly symbolic policies that dampen public outrage, but fail to address the fundamental structural problems that would allow real change.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
David Wagner is professor of social work and sociology at the University of Southern Maine. Wagner received the SSSP C. Wright Mills Award for his book Checkerboard Square: Culture and Resistance in a Homeless Community. Jennifer Barton Gilman is an independent scholar.
- Homelessness: From Crisis to Routine.
- The Rise and Fall of a Social Problem.
- A Brief History of Homelessness.
- Recognizing and Naming a Crisis, 1979-1982.
- Modest Victories, 1983-1988.
- Criminalization and Compassion Fatigue, 1989-1993.
- From Social Problem to Bureaucratic Problem, 1994-Present.
- Lessons Learned.