Sociological Perspective on Homelessness

1248 Words Jan 15th, 2018 5 Pages
Homelessness has existed for much of "civilized" human history. In the last two centuries, homelessness and changed and expanded. Sociologists who study and research homelessness have argued over its formal definition for decades, though for some, the definition of homelessness seems self explanatory and obvious. The paper will examine homelessness, particularly as a sociological issue, or a social issue seen from a sociological perspective. The paper will additionally reference sociological theory as a means of explanation for homelessness, such its causes, the demographics/populations, and other prominent known characteristics of homeless people. There are individuals and groups who choose to be, from a normative societal perspective, homeless, but for a great deal of the homeless population, it can be a treacherous and tragic lifestyle that is a result of a distinct set of social, societal, and individual factors.
Due to the relative nature of culture and language, the definition of homelessness varies across the world. What is a common thread among nearly all definitions is the difficulty in locating and retaining permanent residence and integration into normative society. (Elliott & Krivo, 1991, 114) Some of the stereotypes about the behavior of homeless people are true.…