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February 15, 2008 / studyingsociology

Attacks on the homeless

This article from the New York Times discusses violence against the homeless by teens and young adults.  The disturbing trend seems to be rooted in a perception of the homeless as less “human”  or worthy of respect than others. 

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  1. Jillian Whitacre / Feb 16 2008 3:43 pm

    I was shocked to find that the amount of unprovoked attacks against the homeless increased by about 65 percent since 2005. I wonder if a shift in ideology occurred which made the homeless seem like they were “subhuman.” Maybe our societies standards for hard work and money has caused teenagers and young adults to misinterpret the homeless condition as a result of pure laziness and worthlessness instead of possible mental illness or bad luck. Or maybe the homeless are easy targets for angry teens, which would commit senseless acts of violence anyway.
    I also found it interesting that the problem of violence against the homeless was most severe in Florida. I wonder if there is a greater stigma attached to being homeless in Florida in comparison to other states.

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