Date of Award
Bachelor of Science (B.S.) in Sociology and University Honors
Medicalization, Homeless, Houseless, Health, Neoliberalism, Social services
The medicalization of homelessness distracts from the systemic drivers of poverty and housing insecurity in favor of treating supposed psychological deviance within unhoused individuals. This article describes a mixed-methods content analysis of 35 Oregon homeless service organization websites investigating how the medicalization of homelessness is perpetuated in homeless service organizations' public-facing materials. Narratives that associate homelessness with mental illness and addiction and encourage self-reform among unhoused clients are identified as key drivers of the medicalization of homelessness on organization websites. Moreover, expressions of neoliberal ideology are found to coincide with medicalizing narratives, shedding further light on medicalization's ties to the neoliberal project.
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Sowards, Ella Mae, "Medicalizing Homelessness: Narratives of Individualization and Systemic Critique on Homeless Shelter Websites" (2023). University Honors Theses. Paper 1345.
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