Landscapes of Despair

Landscapes of Despair : From Deinstitutionalization to Homelessness

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The starting point for this work is the massive explosion in the numbers of the homeless. The authors observe that these "service-dependent" people are increasingly concentrated in well-defined geographical areas of our cities. Such "ghettos" are host to the mentally disabled, retarded, physically disabled, ex-offenders and addicts. Why has this happened? How can we account for the magnitude of the problem at this time? And what can be done about the problem? This work provides the first comprehensive analysis of these ghettos, their structure and evolution, their benefits and costs and how they might change in the future. The authors situate thier research within the present context of economic uncertainty, where cutbacks are hitting the socially dependent most of all. This work is a contribution to the understanding of the marginalized populations in our cities and it will inform the debate on the development of a more humane welfare system. It is a truly interdisciplinary work, drawing upon geography, planning, social work, psychiatry and history, as well as upon the wider debates in social theory. It should be of interest to scholars and students in each of these fields, in addition to economists, sociologists and political scientists. It should also provide material for policy-makers in the health and welfare more

Product details

  • Hardback | 220 pages
  • 150 x 230mm | 560g
  • Polity Press
  • Oxford, United Kingdom
  • Illustrated
  • Illustrated edition
  • Illustrations, maps
  • 0745603769
  • 9780745603766

Table of contents

Part 1: Service-dependent populations in the city; social construction of the service-dependent ghetto; the social history of service dependency. Part 2: The rise and fall of the service-dependent ghetto; the geography of haunted places; anatomy of the service-dependent ghetto; dismantling the community-based human-services system; homelessness and the retreat to institutions. Part 3: Public policy for the city; from homelessness to deinstitutionalization - closing the circle; community politics and the planning of human services; the view from the more

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