[URBANTH-L]Reader on the Anthropology of Homelessness

AWaterston at aol.com AWaterston at aol.com
Tue Feb 17 11:43:35 EST 2009

In the spirit of sharing information, below is information about my  
ethnography on women and homelessness in NYC:
Love, Sorrow, and  Rage: Destitute Women in a Manhattan  Residence
Alisse  Waterston
"A brilliant ethnography of women on the edge....  Waterston is one of our 
best urban ethnographers, mixing intelligent fieldwork  and sheer novelistic 
splendor in a masterful work. A must-read. This book should  be standard for 
every ethnographic methods and theory course on urban life,  women, poverty, and 
—Terry Williams, New School for Social  Research 
Love, Sorrow, and Rage gives powerful voice to  women like Nora Gaines and 
Dixie Register, who tell us what it's like to live on  the streets of New York, 
how it feels to lose your mind, about the taste of  crack cocaine, and the 
sweetness of friendship. In this novel-like narrative of  homelessness and hope, 
poor women share a table, their meals, and their  intimacies with author 
Alisse Waterston. On the pages of this impassioned  ethnography, Waterston puts 
mythic, demonized bag-ladies to rest, and in so  doing, brings ordinary women to 
>From drug addiction and the spread of AIDS to the growing  gap between rich 
and poor in the U.S., the topics in this book get  front-page coverage in daily 
newspapers across the country. Waterston seeks to  understand, to explain, 
and to solve the human crisis that surrounds us. Towards  this end, she 
challenges us to look at the ways in which our society and the  workings of our 
political, economic, and popular culture contribute to the  suffering experienced by 
our most vulnerable citizens.  
An important corrective to popular depictions of the urban  poor, Love, 
Sorrow, and Rage provides a penetrating analysis of the  causes and consequences of 
poverty. It offers a deeper understanding of what  leads to and perpetuates 
poverty and of the human complex of love, sorrow, and  rage felt by those who 
experience it.  
Love, Sorrow, and Rage will engage  readers interested in urban studies, 
women's studies, social issues and  policies, anthropology, sociology, political 
economy, and New York City life.   
"Love, Sorrow, and Rage tells us something  powerful and intimate about a 
group of poor women living in the wealthiest city  on the face of the earth. In 
the process, Alisse Waterston demolishes a series  of myths about the 'urban 
underclass' that have perverted both social theories  and social policies. 
Indeed, Waterston has succeeded where an entire generation  of anthropologists, 
sociologists, and psychologists has failed: she renders in  vivid detail, and 
with a towering passion of her own, the ways in which  ostensibly impersonal 
forces—racism, gender inequality, ill-conceived social  policies—come to have 
their effect in poor women's lives. Accountable to a large  literature but 
unshackled from the constraints of jargon, Love, Sorrow, and  Rage takes flight as 
bitter and persuasive poetry. It should be required  reading for physicians, 
social workers, policy-makers—indeed, for all those  fortunate enough to meet 
women whose lives have been damaged by the structural  forces that come alive in 
this remarkable and harrowing book." 
—Paul  Farmer, Harvard Medical School  
"A moving and beautiful book. In so much of what is  written about 'the 
homeless' and 'the mentally ill,' the people themselves are  missing. Alisse 
Waterston brings out their humanity. Nothing can replace an  experience, but reading 
a book like this is the next best thing."  
—Ezra Susser, Columbia University  
Prologue: An Urban Ethnography for Our  Times 
1. Home, Some Place 
2. Some Kind of Nobody 
3. Drinkin' and  Druggin' 
4. Sorrow and Melancholia 
5. Abuses of the Spirit 
6. Love  and Other Intimacies 
7. Odd Women Out 
8. Pistachio Nuts 
9. A Madness  in Me 
10. Rage 
11. Difference and Other Infections of the Day 
12.  The Road to Clarity 
About the  Author(s)
Alisse Waterston is Professor of Anthropology at  John Jay College of 
Criminal Justice, City University of New York. She is editor  of An Anthropology of 
War: Views from the Frontline (Berghahn Books),  co-editor of Anthropology off 
the Shelf: Anthropologists on Writing  (Wiley-Blackwell) and author of _Street 
Addicts in the Political Economy_ 
(http://www.temple.edu/tempress/titles/885_reg.html)  (Temple). 

In a message dated 2/15/2009 9:17:49 A.M. Eastern Standard Time,  
Calliope77 at aol.com writes:

Hi  David, 

I sent this out yesterday but wasn't sure if I copied to  listserve, so I am  
resending. Sorry, if everyone got a  duplicate:

I don't know if this is exactly what you  are looking for in terms of  
research on the homeless, but I  published a book a few years ago based on  
ethnographic research I  conducted among homeless, nomadic street youth in 
New  York 
City. The  book is called, With No Direction Home: Homeless Youth on the  
Road and  
in the Streets. There is not much in terms of cross-cultural   comparisons. 
However, in my concluding chapters, I do discuss homeless  street  kids in a 
global context. Take care.

Marni  Finkelstein, Ph.D.

In a message dated 2/11/2009 3:33:29 P.M.  Eastern Standard Time,  
wintam at ucdavis.edu writes:

Dear   David,

If you haven't received these suggestions already, I'd like  to  also add
Mitchell Durnier's Sidewalks about unhoused men in NY and  Mike  Davis'
Fortress LA (in City of Quartz) and Planet of Slums,  which takes a  look at
neoliberal globalism changes city landscapes  into privatized spaces  of
capital accumulation.  Also Neil  Smith's books on gentrification in  cities
across the world talk about  displacement of working-class people  from urban

Good  luck on your class,


On  Wed, Feb 11, 2009 at 6:01  AM, Glasser, Irene <iglasser at rwu.edu>  wrote:

> Here are  some of my contributions to works (first three are  books, the  
> articles) on vulnerable and homeless   populations:
> Glasser, Irene and Rae Bridgman (1999)  Braving  the Street: Anthropological
> Perspectives on  Homelessness, New York and  Oxford: Berghahn Books.
>  Glasser, Irene Homelessness in Global  Perspective (1994) New York:  G.K.
> Hall Reference, A Division of  MacMillan,  Inc.
> Glasser, Irene More Than Bread: Ethnography of  a  Soup Kitchen (1988)
> Tuscaloosa, Alabama: University of Alabama   Press.
> Glasser, Irene and William Zywiak (2003)  "Homelessness  and Substance Use: 
> Tale of Two Cities" Substance  Use and Misuse  Volume 38, number 3-6, March
> 2003,  553-578.
> Glasser,  Irene (2003) "Homeless Families"  International Encyclopedia of
>  Marriage and Family, second  edition, 816-822.
>   ________________________________________
> From: Irene Glasser   [GlasserI at crtct.org]
> Sent: Wednesday, February 11, 2009 8:50   AM
> To: Glasser, Irene
> Subject: FW: [URBANTH-L]Reader on  the  Anthropology of Homelessness
>   ________________________________________
> From:   urbanth-l-bounces at lists.ysu.edu [urbanth-l-bounces at lists.ysu.edu]  
>  Behalf Of Jahmeilah Roberson  [jahmeilah.richardson at gmail.com]
> Sent:  Tuesday, February 10,  2009 12:23 PM
> To: kflan at mindspring.com
>  Cc: David Slater;  URBANTH-L at lists.ysu.edu
> Subject: Re:  [URBANTH-L]Reader on the  Anthropology of Homelessness
> I am  also interested in the  same issues. Over the past month I have
> begun  to undertake an  ethnographic study of homeless populations in
> Southern   California's Los Angeles and Orange Counties. I'm really
> interested  in  issues of ownership as it spans across the spaces they
>  inhabit as well  as the digital and non-digital material artifacts  they
> carry. In  general, being that I'm in an Informatics  department, I am
> interested  in the relationship between  technology and social inclusion
> for  marginalized communities  with an emphasis on the homeless.
> I  have begun to  collect some papers and books but could always use
> more.  Here  are some of the best I've found:
>         David  Snow (he's a professor in Sociology at my university, UCI,  
> has  done extensive research on homelessness in the  US)
>       - Down on their Luck  (book)
>   - The Outcomes of Homeless  Mobilization: The  Influence of
> Organization, Disruption, Political  Mediation, and  Framing.
>             - Identity  Work Among the Homeless: The Verbal  Construction
> and Avowal of  Personal Identities.
>   Tim Cresswell (he's a  professor in Geography at the  University of
> London and has done  extensive research on mobility  sometimes relating
> to  tramps)
>         - Embodiment, Power and the  Politics of Mobility:  The Case of
> Female Tramps and  Hobos
>         - Night discourse: producing/  consuming meaning on  the street
>         - The  Tramp in America  (book)
>        Maria  Cecilia  Loschiavo dos Santos (she's a professor of design at
> the   University of Sao Paulo. Most of her writing is in Portuguese but
>  she  has a really interesting paper where she studied the homeless  in
> Los  Angeles, Tokyo, and Sao Paulo so there may be some good  references
> in  there especially related to homelessness in Tokyo  (or Japan in
>  general). She studies the way the homeless recycle  and reuse materials
>  and the artifacts they create in this  process.
>       - The Vital Package Living on the  Streets  in Global Cities:
> Sao
> Paulo, Los Angeles  and  Tokyo
> I also have a few papers related to  consumption  practices of the
> homeless that have come out of  economics departments  and what not.
> Feel free to ping me  separately if you have questions. I  have spoken
> with both David  and Maria and can say that in my  experiences David is
> slightly  harder to get in touch with via email  and Maria is really
> quick  to respond.
> Best,
>  jam
> --
>  Jahmeilah Richardson Roberson
> PhD  Student
> Department of  Informatics
> University of California,  Irvine
> On  Feb 9, 2009, at 4:49 PM, kflan at mindspring.com  wrote:
>  > You might be interested in the work of Louisa  Stark. She's an  urban
> > anthropologist (was teaching as an adjunct   anthropology professor at
> > Arizona State University, but I'm  not  sure if that's still the case
> > with all the recent  budget woes and  staff cuts at ASU) and is the
> > executive  director for the  Community Housing Partnership in Phoenix,
> >  Arizona (a nonprofit  concerned with helping very low-income  families
> > find and secure  affordable housing).
>  >
> > A good portion of her  anthropological research,  professional work,
> > and activism has  centered on various  homelessness issues (mostly in
> > the United  States), so you  might want to do Web and online library
> > searches  for her  articles, books, etc.
> >
> > --Kerri  Flanagan
>  >
> > -----Original Message-----
> >>  From:  David Slater <d-slater at sophia.ac.jp>
> >> Sent: Jan   21, 2009 2:50 AM
> >> To: URBANTH-L at lists.ysu.edu
>  >>  Subject: [URBANTH-L]Reader on the Anthropology of  Homelessness
>  >>
> >> Hello Everyone,
>  >>    I am  teaching a fieldwork course on Tokyo  Homeless--which a
> >> large  and
> >> growing  problem in neoliberal Japan. I am looking for a  reader on the
>  >> cross-cultural issues, including research, of  homelessness.  Has
> >> anyone used
> >> one with any   particular success?
> >>
> >> Thanks,
>  >>  David
> >>
> >>
> >>  --
> >>  David H. Slater
> >> Faculty of Liberal  Arts
> >>  Sophia University, Tokyo
> >>
>  >> The Sophia server  rejects emails at times. Should your mail to  me get
> >> returned,  please resend to: dhslater at gmail.com.  Sorry for the
> >>  inconvenience.
> >>   _______________________________________________
> >>  URBANTH-L  mailing list
> >> URBANTH-L at lists.ysu.edu
>  >>  http://lists.ysu.edu/mailman/listinfo.cgi/urbanth-l
>  >
>  >
> >  _______________________________________________
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Winnie Tam Hung
AAUW American Dissertation Fellow 2008-9
PhD   Candidate, Graduate Group in Cultural   Studies
wintam at ucdavis.edu

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Alisse  Waterston
Professor, Department of Anthropology
John Jay College of  Criminal Justice
899 Tenth Avenue, Room 433
New York, NY  10019

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