Geography Conference Abstracts
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California State University, Long Beach ]
      Department of Geography
College of Liberal Arts
1250 Bellflower Boulevard
California State University
Long Beach, CA 90840-1101 USA


Dr. Christine L. Jocoy


was the lead co-author (with Vincent Del Casino) on:

"Persistent discourses in the construction of homeless policy," to the Association of American Geographers, Chicago, during March 2006.

A significant barrier to solving the problem of homelessness in American cities is the stigma associated with homelessness and the spaces and places inhabited by homeless people. The way such perceptions of the homeless are articulated in public discourse affects the creation of public policy. Homelessness is currently on the policy agenda again, as many American cities respond to the Bush administration's "10-year plan to end homelessness" initiative. Based on an analysis of a series of public meetings and newspaper media coverage, this paper examines the spoken and written discourse constitutive of homeless policy planning processes in Long Beach, CA. When compared to Dear and Gleeson's (1991) study of community attitudes expressed in national newspapers in the late 1980s, results reveal the persistence of discourses of personal responsibility and NIMBY syndrome. Newer versions of these discourses, as seen in "housing first" efforts to eliminate the "shelter industry" and "assertive community treatment" for the removal of homeless bodies from the streets, justify continuing the criminalization of homelessness and transfer of responsibility for providing social services from the state to private enterprise and charitable organizations. The paper concludes with some reflections on how community members involved in the policy planning process have begun to engage these discourses.

Dr. Jocoy also presented:

"The social and spatial contexts of corporate learning: Practices for balancing diverse and shared knowledges," to the Association of American Geographers, Denver, during April 2005.

Dr. Jocoy presented:

"Teaching economic geography: Surviving the first time through," as an invited panellist to the "'Practices' for Teaching Economic Geography I," sponsored by the Economic Geography Specialty Group of the Association of American Geographers, Denver, during April 2005.


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Last revised: 01/10/06