The medicalization of homelessness and the sociology of the self: A grounded fractal analysis

Academic Article


  • The purpose of this chapter is to illustrate the centrality of the tabula rasa concept of self for the medical model of homeless service provision. Using four years of ethnographic data analyzed with a grounded fractal methodology, we illustrate the logical interconnections between the particular phenomena of homeless service institutions and broad cultural contexts. While social science has been somewhat critical of the medicalization of homelessness, its shared supposition about the self has relegated it to structural critiques that offer little to the currently homeless and those who want to help them. In contrast, we illuminate a path toward the development of an alternative pedagogy of individualism that is more directly responsive to the problematics of the medical model of homeless service provision.
  • Authors

    Published In

    Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Wasserman JA; Clair JM
  • Start Page

  • 29
  • End Page

  • 62
  • Volume

  • 37