How do "Victims" Become "Criminals?" Examining the Power of Language in Criminalizing Homelessness (thesis)
Tripathi, Mansi Siddharth
Washington and Lee University -- Honors in Sociology and Poverty Studies
Hmeless persons -- Legal status, laws, etc.
Discrimination in criminal justice administration
Capabilities approach (Social sciences)
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Thesis; [FULL-TEXT FREELY AVAILABLE ONLINE]Mansi Siddharth Tripathi is a member of the Class of 2022 of Washington and Lee University.In this paper, I begin by outlining various definitions of poverty and homelessness and my reasons for using Amartya Sen's capability-based approach. Then, I transition into my theoretical framework and discuss how deviance is socially constructed, how language affects perception, and consequently how language affects our policy. Based on this framework, I argue that the language we use helps justify stripping people experiencing homelessness of human rights and dignity. I use historical and contemporary examples and statistics to highlight the relationship between language and homelessness. To conclude, I offer some capability-based solutions to homelessness that do not rely on criminalization, but that rather prioritize compassion and autonomy. [From Introduction]Mansi Tripathi