The back cover ∞
"Strangers, outcasts, refugees, pilgrims, and mendicants are created as 'natural' social consequences of social change, stratification, social mobility, conflict, and social control. Societies differ in their norms about treatment of strangers and acceptance of the disaffiliates created by social processes of their time and place, but one or more of these types of disaffiliate appear in all societies.... In recent times the skid row man has been a particularly stigmatized disaffiliate...."
This encyclopedic treatment of skid row draw together the extensive popular and research literature on the subject, combining the work of historians, journalists, and professional rehabilitation agents (psychiatrists, psychologists, and social workers) with the findings of sociologists. A central argument is that the skid row man's imputed defectiveness and powerlessness predispose him to involvement in a vicious circle of negative encounters which serve to bind him to skid row, lower his self-esteem, and reaffirm the idea that he is hopeless and unsalvageable.
Crucial to the study is the examination of the way skid row men are viewed by other people. A composite picture is drawn from newspaper and magazine accounts, national attitude surveys, first-hand accounts of skid row life, and numerous social scientific analyses. The author also discusses homeless women, an element of skid row life that has heretofore received little attention, and provides the conclusions of original research at the Woman's Emergency Shelter in New York City.
Throughout, the book squareless confronts alcoholism, now considered the chief pathology of hopeless men. Current treatment techniques and programs are described and evaluated. Finally, the author illustrates the utility of these studies not only for understanding the problems which beset skid row men, but also for the insights provided into more general problems of disaffiliation in modern society, such as aging, mental illness, and psychological alienation.
Howard M. Bahr is Professor of Sociology, Brigham Young University. Previously he taught at Washington State University, Brooklyn College of the City University of New York, and New York University. As a Research Associate at Columbia University's Bureau of Applied Social Research he directed a six-year program of research on homelessness and disaffiliation in Manhattan. He has also collaborated in a series of studies of white-Indian relations in the urban Northwest. He is a co-editor of Native Americans Today: Sociological Perspectives and Population, Resources, and the Future: Non-Malthusian Perspectives. His other works on disaffiliation include the edited volume Disaffiliated Man: Essays and Bibliography on Skid Row, Vagrancy, and Outsiders and Old Men Drunk and Sober (with Theodore Caplow).
- ISBN 978-0060404437 - Native Americans Today: Sociological Perspectives
- ISBN 978-0842515238 - Population, Resources, and the Future: Non-Malthusian Perspectives
- ISBN 978-0802016133 - Disaffiliated Man: Essays and Bibliography on Skid Row, Vagrancy, and Outsiders
ISBN 978-0814709658 - Old Men Drunk and Sober