The social constructionist approach offers conceptual tools that may augment social workers' persuasive powers and problem solving capacities. In this case study, I examine a newspaper campaign to cast the homeless in negative terms and justify the closing of a shelter. Findings are presented as seven themes used by competing claims-makers. Each constructs a different depiction of the homeless, of homelessness, and of preferred solutions. Linkages between community memberships and favored problem definitions are identified. I conclude with suggestions for how "intelligent social reconstruction" might help social workers function as sympathy brokers for the vulnerable. (Key words: homelessness, NIMBY, mass media, constructionist approaches to social problems).
Forte, James A.
"Not in My Social World: A Cultural Analysis of Media Representations, Contested Spaces, and Sympathy for the Homeless,"
The Journal of Sociology & Social Welfare: Vol. 29
, Article 9.
Available at: http://scholarworks.wmich.edu/jssw/vol29/iss4/9