Begging Questions: Street-Level Economic Activity and Social by Hartley Dean

By Hartley Dean

Begging is largely condemned, yet little understood. it truly is more and more noticeable, but politically debatable. although begging is associated with problems with road homelessness, psychological future health, and social exclusion, this booklet specializes in begging as a particular kind of marginalized financial job. It appears at: the importance of face-to-face touch among beggars and passers-by; the preoccupation with the type of beggars; the stigma linked to begging and decisions required by means of the passer-by; and where of begging within the spectrum of casual financial task. The booklet additionally takes under consideration the voices of beggars themselves.

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By Hartley Dean

Begging is largely condemned, yet little understood. it truly is more and more noticeable, but politically debatable. although begging is associated with problems with road homelessness, psychological future health, and social exclusion, this booklet specializes in begging as a particular kind of marginalized financial job. It appears at: the importance of face-to-face touch among beggars and passers-by; the preoccupation with the type of beggars; the stigma linked to begging and decisions required by means of the passer-by; and where of begging within the spectrum of casual financial task. The booklet additionally takes under consideration the voices of beggars themselves.

Show description

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Additional info for Begging Questions: Street-Level Economic Activity and Social Policy Failure

Sample text

Of course, it is the case that at different times begging has been perceived differently, but this chapter concentrates upon the continuities. The continuity of accounts When former Prime Minister, Margaret Thatcher, gave the injunction in her 1987 Women’s Own interview: “It’s our duty to look after ourselves 27 Begging questions and then, also, to look after our neighbour”, she was probably unconsciously returning to an old tradition and debate. Rufinus, writing in the 12th century, cited St Ambrose to argue that it was a person’s duty “to love first God, then his parents, then his children, then those of his own household and finally strangers” (Tierney, 1958/59).

1996) Jigsaw: A political criminology of youth homelessness, Buckingham: Open University Press. Davis, M. (1993) ‘Who killed LA? A political autopsy’, New Left Review, no 197, pp 3-28. Dean, H. (1991) Social security and social control, London: Routledge. Dean, H. (1998) ‘Benefit fraud and citizenship’, in P. Taylor-Gooby (ed) Choice and public policy, Basingstoke: Macmillan. Dean, H. and Melrose, M. (1996) ‘Unravelling citizenship: the significance of social security benefit fraud’, Critical Social Policy, vol 16, no 3, pp 331.

In this chapter I shall argue that new global economic conditions, because they fundamentally change the bargaining position of unskilled workers throughout the developed (and much of the developing) worlds, are now contributing to a reappearance of many forms of street-level economic activity. The prevalence and forms of begging in any city or rural area are explicable in terms of the informal alternatives available, and the cultural resources of the economic actors. At the end of the chapter, I shall go on to look at interactions between beggars and their fellow citizens – and the moral dilemmas that are posed by and reflected 43 Begging questions through them – in the context of policy regimes once designed to relieve poverty through collective welfare systems, but which increasingly seek to promote welfare through paid work.

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