You are not currently logged in.
Access JSTOR through your library or other institution:
The Stigma of Homelessness: The Impact of the Label "Homeless" on Attitudes Toward Poor Persons
Jo Phelan, Bruce G. Link, Robert E. Moore and Ann Stueve
Social Psychology Quarterly
Vol. 60, No. 4 (Dec., 1997), pp. 323-337
Published by: American Sociological Association
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2787093
Page Count: 15
You can always find the topics here!Topics: Homelessness, Social stigma, Mental disorders, Psychological attitudes, Blame, Poverty, Social psychology, Hospitalization, Social distance, Social interaction
Were these topics helpful?See something inaccurate? Let us know!
Select the topics that are inaccurate.
Preview not available
Poor people have long been stigmatized and blaned for their situation. According to theory about stigma and about inequality-legitimating ideologies, homeless people should be stigmatized even more severely than the "generic poor". Recent research suggests that the opposite may be true, but the data used in comparing attitudes toward homeless and other poor people have not been strictly comparable. Thus the conclusions that can be drawn are limited. Using a vignette experiment designed to directly compare attitudes toward a homeless and a domiciled poor man and to compare the effects of being labeled homeless with those of being labeled mentally ill, we find that (1) the homeless man is blamed no less than the domiciled man and generally is stigmatized more severely; (2) the strength of the stigma attached to the "homelessness" label equals that for mental hospitalization; and (3) the stigmas of homelessness and mental hospitalization are independent of one another. Thus, in addition to the hardships of the homeless condition itself, homeless people suffer stigmatization by their fellow citizens. The results also suggest that the robust tendency to blame the disadvantaged for their predicament holds true for modern homelessness as well.
Social Psychology Quarterly © 1997 American Sociological Association