Amy Lubitow

Date of Award

Summer 9-29-2017

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (M.A.) in Sociology



Physical Description

1 online resource (vi, 165 pages)


Content analysis, Henri Lefebvre, Homelessness, Media frames, Tent cities, Urban development




This content analysis of mainstream and alternative news narratives interprets the use of the crisis media frame, and describes the relationship between local policy initiatives, media discourse and public opinion on tent cities, organized by people experiencing homelessness in Portland, Oregon. Framing homelessness and housing as a crisis intensified the public debate, attested by an increase in mainstream media reports on tent cities, and by controversial policy changes that addressed the individually-experienced traumatic impacts of the City's anti-camping ordinance, as well as the systemic lack of affordable housing and emergency shelter. Media discourse related to city-sanctioned tent cities blurs the lines between Shanto Iyengar's episodic and thematic media frames because of the simultaneous acknowledgement of individual and systemic circumstances. The crisis frame is a discursive mechanism in the production of knowledge on homelessness and housing, and is considered as an integral characteristic of Henri Lefebvre's conceptual model of socio-spatial production, which describes the interdependency between discourse, practice and meaning in the material and symbolic production of space.

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