Confronting Homelessness

Award Winner

Confronting Homelessness: Poverty, Politics and the Failure of Social Policy

2012
207 pages
Reprint Edition
Lynne Rienner Publishers, Inc.
ISBN-10: 1-6263-7391-4
ISBN-13: 978-1-6263-7391-4

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(written with Jennifer Barton Gilman)

Awarded 2013 Choice! Outstanding Academic Book by the Journal of American Library Association (ALA).

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.

“Not only does a thorough job of outlining the history of homelessness in the United States, but also brings attention to the minimal progress the United States has made in addressing this issue.”

– Contemporary Sociology

 “An excellent book; one of the best on the topic. Highly recommended.”

– Choice!

“Confronting Homelessness is a very important contribution to discussions of social movements, poverty, and homelessness.”

– Z Magazine