[Fwd: [Fwd: Re: [URBANTH-L]Reader on the Anthropology of Homelessness]]

Vincent Lyon-Callo vincent.lyon-callo at wmich.edu
Fri Feb 20 20:10:10 EST 2009

Here's another non-US based article that might be of interest if doing a global understanding of homelessness:

Èva Tessza Udvarhelyi and Nikoletta Nagy 139. "Man on the Street":. An Experiment in Social Justice Activism. And Activist Anthropology in Hungary. Urban Anthropology Vol. 37 No. 2 (Summer 2008)

Vin Lyon-Callo
Associate Professor
Department of Anthropology
Western Michigan University
Kalamazoo MI 49008

----- Original Message -----
From: tova <tova.hojdestrand at socant.su.se>
Date: Thursday, February 19, 2009 4:05 am
Subject: [Fwd: [Fwd: Re: [URBANTH-L]Reader on the Anthropology of	Homelessness]]

> Hi, 
> My book about homeless in St. Petersburg, Russia, will be 
> published at 
> Cornell UP, but I'm not sure when (in the middle of the 
> copyediting 
> process right now). Below is some info anyway.
> Best regards,
> Tova Höjdestrand, Dept. of Social Antropology, University of 
> Stockholm, 
> Sweden. *
> This study investigates homelessness as a sociostructural 
> phenomenon as 
> well as an individually experienced life condition, with a focus 
> on 
> homeless people in St. Petersburg in 1999 onwards. To these men 
> and 
> women, homelessness can be concluded with the Russian expression 
> /nikomu 
> ne nuzhen/, ‘needed by nobody’ – a dilemma that in their case is 
> twofold. They are ‘not needed’ as citizens since a permanent 
> address in 
> Russia is the precondition for all civil rights and social 
> benefits, and 
> they are also deprived of the intimate social networks that 
> constitute 
> the ultimate social ‘safety net’ in Russia. The study investigates 
> processes of social exclusion as well as the remaining ‘world of 
> waste’ 
> of things, tasks, and places wanted by nobody else that remains to 
> these 
> ‘human leftovers’ to survive from. *
> *The story is structured in accordance the social contexts in 
> which “not 
> neededness” was experienced most tangibly – different but 
> intertwined 
> clusters of social relationships that, from the viewpoint of the 
> homeless, have their own re­gimes of exclusion and inclusion. It 
> concerns the state and the formal social structure; the social 
> aspects 
> of the world of labor; the urban landscape in which physical 
> bodies are 
> situated; informal social networks from the time before 
> homelessness; 
> and the social relationships between the homeless. Throughout 
> there runs 
> the notion of leftovers and dirt, which I finally bring up in a 
> literal 
> sense by focusing on cleanliness and physical appearance; not in 
> itself 
> a “sphere” in which social interaction takes place, but a 
> funda­mental 
> threshold to those that are mentioned.
> The main focus is human worth. Homeless people are subjected to a 
> forceful social stigmatization, but their situation also deprives 
> them 
> of the social and material prerequisites for acting and relating 
> to 
> others in ways that they themselves consider to be ‘decent’ and 
> ‘human’. 
> This study asks how human dignity is negotiated in the absence of 
> its 
> very preconditions. Which dimensions take precedence, and which 
> cultural 
> resources are employed to restore at least a makeshift sense of, 
> in the 
> words of these homeless people, “being human?”*
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