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Tell Them Who I Am the Lives of Homeless Women

by Elliot Liebow

  • ISBN: 9780029190951
  • ISBN10: 0029190959

Tell Them Who I Am the Lives of Homeless Women

by Elliot Liebow

  • List Price: $27.95
  • Binding: Hardcover
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster
  • Publish date: 03/01/1993
  • ISBN: 9780029190951
  • ISBN10: 0029190959
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Description: In 1967, Elliot Liebow, writing as a participant-observer, published Tally's Corner, a pathbreaking study of black streetcorner life. Coming at a time when Americans were just beginning to understand the moral demand for improvement in the lives of urban blacks, Liebow's book made its readers see for the first time the human reality behind the stereotypes and myths about black life. Now, in Tell Them Who I Am, his first book in over 20 years, Liebow similarly dispels myths surrounding homelessness, revealing the actual diversity, humanity, and dignity that lie behind popular images of the homeless. In Tell Them Who I Am, Liebow carefully investigates and documents the patterns and routines of homeless women. These are not the most visible homeless, Liebow tells us, not the "throwaway" homeless we see on the street. Rather they are members of the larger but less visible majority of people who are homeless but who still retain connections with society. These are people who have fallen into homelessness for many reasons; some may rise again, and some will sink. Their daily lives are thus a struggle not merely to survive but to keep alive their hope - and their humanity - in the face of what for many are insuperable obstacles. Through the women's own words and Liebow's thoughtful and sympathetic commentary, Tell Them Who I Am examines every aspect of their lives; the variety of jobs the women have, as well as the obstacles which prevent some from obtaining employment; relationships with family members, friends, and lovers, both within and outside the shelter; conflicts with the shelter staff and the need to maintain a sense of privacy in a public environment; the frustrations of dealingwith an inefficient and underfunded public bureaucracy; and the struggle to maintain a fragile sense of community in the face of such destructive forces as racism and mental illness. Elliot Liebow brings the maturity of a lifetime's work as one of America's most sensitive and admired urban anthropologists to bear on this painful subject. He shows a side of our society - the lower tier - that few have seen, and argues that only through a deeper understanding of poverty and its consequences will we ever be able to address successfully the problem of homelessness.
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