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Reciprocal Dependence Between Single-Room Occupancy Managers and Tenants

JOAN SHAPIRO
Social Work
Vol. 15, No. 3 (July 1970), pp. 67-73
Published by: Oxford University Press
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/23710818
Page Count: 7
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Reciprocal Dependence Between Single-Room Occupancy Managers and Tenants
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Abstract

Slum hotels, known as single-room-occupancy buildings (SROs), are the privately owned present-day replacement for poorhouses. They shelter an ethnically mixed and poverty-stricken population of single alcoholics, narcotic addicts, the chronically ill and disabled, the lonely aged, and the mentally ill and retarded. In nine such buildings studied, SRO managers and tenants were seen to have evolved a symbiotic relationship, both economically and interpersonally. The nearly closed SRO system reflects the congruence of the needs of the managers and tenants, although it tends to perpetuate pathological patterns of both. The capacity of the system to maintain an ill population in the community demonstrates the social usefulness of such symbiosis.

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