Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/10125/51533

The Dharma of Bums: Identity, Neoliberalism, and Biomedicine in the Practice of Treating Homelessness in Honolulu

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Title:The Dharma of Bums: Identity, Neoliberalism, and Biomedicine in the Practice of Treating Homelessness in Honolulu
Authors:Hemrajani, Aashish
Keywords:Homelessness
Biomedicine
Identity
Date Issued:Dec 2016
Publisher:[Honolulu] : [University of Hawaii at Manoa], [December 2016]
Abstract:Focusing on Honolulu, the city with the highest rate of homelessness in the United States, this thesis demonstrates that the existence of a visibly immiserated population functions materially to create the need for an industry of care and ideologically to serve as an embodied site of difference. Based on long-term ethnographic fieldwork at a transitional shelter and with a student-run free clinic, I examine the process of identity production as it occurs between homeless people and service providers. The public visibility of homelessness leads to the denigration of this population, resulting in a lack of personhood. The process of entering a shelter is viewed as a neoliberal ritual of social reintegration. A free clinic for the homeless demonstrates the on-the-ground process of developing co-relational identities. Finally, a Halloween carnival allows actors to perform the identities and meanings constructed around homelessness in a way that incorporates elements of costume and fantasy.
Description:M.A. University of Hawaii at Manoa 2016.
Includes bibliographical references.
URI:http://hdl.handle.net/10125/51533
Appears in Collections: M.A. - Anthropology


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