Homelessness: A Sociological Analysis

1650 Words7 Pages
According to Neal (2007, p.46) “Potent social forces [capitalism, patriarchy, imperialism, home ownership] do exist and being homeless is to lose a stake in several of them” This paper will explore three different theoretical approaches to addressing the homeless problem that plagues our society from three different social theorists in the historical context of Classical, modernist and postmodern. Karl Marx, a social theorist from the classical era challenged the status quo by illustrating the effect the rich bourgeoisie had on the proletariat. According to Marx the bourgeoisie, represented the rich oppressors who exploited the working class. The distribution of wealth has always favored the wealthy at the expense of the proletariat.…show more content…
Following a brutal race war among the working class, Du Bois clearly substantiate race as a social construct (Holt, 1994). Additionally, DuBois felt resistance from the academic work because of his race, he also had a clear understanding that as long as capitalism existed equality would not come easy, nor would it be automatic (Du Bois, 1944). Regardless of the changes to the Constitution African American Civil Liberties were unprotected. Civil Liberties are the rights of every American Citizen protected by the Bill of Rights. The right to equality is not, protected. Du Bois had a social consciousness that would respond to the social problem through organized political protest that would question the Constitutionality of ignoring homelessness because the target population are African Americans. WEB Dubois captures many of the tenets of the Critical Race Theory, before there was a Critical Race Theory. The fact that race is socially constructed, meaning there is no scientific evidence to suggest that there is a gene for race. The real plus was his membership in the target group gave him insight and understanding that members outside of the target group could only empathize. Being educated in the nineteenth century made no difference to the dominant group. So his experience of micro aggression and the ordinariness of racism. For an African American in…show more content…
Michael Foucault would explore the exploitation of power. As well as the ethical dilemma of homelessness by virtue of the abuse of governmental, power. Homelessness would affect members of the target group. For example, ethnic minorities, members of the LGBTQ community, elderly, and those with mental health illnesses. Foucault was an against the grain type of theorist who was a member of a target group but that did not keep him from expressing himself. He also was fully aware of how he social constructs of race; Foucault’s theoretical approach was that a more globalized society should render racism obsolete (Keith, 2005). To address social problems Foucault would gain every aspect of knowledge on a subject of social justice, and the ethical dilemma of racism and homelessness and how the two intersect. He would favor rebellion over democracy. To compare and contrast the three social theorist there are some similarities among them all. Marx would blame capitalism for homelessness, believing the working class is being exploited by the rich and Du Bois would blame capitalism and racism, believing the social construction of race plays a major role in who’s homeless. Foucault would view power and it’s abuse money and knowledge are viewed as power. All three-favor socialism, all three
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