Masters Thesis

The Lived Experiences of the Homeless in Orange County

The purpose of this paper is to improve public understanding of the experience of homelessness, and to shed light on the social conditions that co-occur with it. the paper uses ethnographic interviewing techniques and participant observation to explore the emergent themes in homeless persons’ self-reported individual hardships, experiences, personal histories, and general expectations. in addition to personal accounts from homeless Orange County residents, there will also be some discussion of how the homeless person interacts with the political and legal structures as well the socioeconomic factors that, much to our collective chagrin, help make the unintentional yet enduring cultural project of homelessness possible. the paper’s findings include the identifying of considerably high levels of social isolation, psychological pain, lost work opportunities and negative personal events in the personal histories of people experiencing homelessness.

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