Domy bezdomnych. O badaniach sytuacji kryzysowych
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This book deals with homelessness and the image of home as experienced and expressed by the men and women who are affected by the crisis of homelessness and live in specialized institutions in Łódź. Even though only two selected institutions are presented, the author draws from her long-standing research conducted in such places. Her research is based on the paradigm of anthropology/ethnography in action, whose branch is known as collaborative anthropology. In the book, the author highlights the methodological, theoretical and ethical issues which relate to the work of the action-research and collaboration paradigm, where the research areas are night shelters and dosshouses for homeless people. These above-mentioned sites are a kind of total institution. The author’s interest is focused on the hidden curriculum which drives the idea of aiding and living of those benefiting from the aid. The hidden curriculum underlies the spatial organization of the centres, their rhythm of life, including the hygiene-oriented approach and panoptism, the approach of staff to their “clients” and self-image of people residing there. The researcher proposes the concept of “home imitations” to describe the practices of living therein which are both adopted by and promoted to the residents. She also provides an explanation of the meaning and purpose of such behaviours. Furthermore, the book organizes the concepts associated with ideas and images of home and homelessness, which prevail in culture and in social sciences and humanities. The author presents her own experience in carrying out research in total institutions and, above all, she focuses on describing and interpreting 11 stories of people from homeless centres (six relations of women and five stories of men) who speak about the ups and downs of their lives and about how they have experienced homelessness. The researcher draws her attention on the stereotypically idealised image of home, which shows its real face when it is seen as a social construct, taking into account the gender perspective as well as other cultural and individual contexts. The author of this book is engaged in the activities of the group Łódzkie Partnerstwo Pomocy Osobom Wykluczonym i Bezdomnym, aimed at the homeless and socially-excluded people in Łódź and involved in the networking of institutions, associations and people dealing with homelessness. The group also runs its own campaigns and actions, including educational ones. For that reason Inga B. Kuźma’s book has an extra dimension: in addition to being a research paper, it can be treated as a report diagnosing the current state of affairs, and at the end contains the recommendations on changing the existing aid policy. These recommendations, which have been developed by the Łódź partnership, draw from the experience of other similar groups operating in Poland and abroad.
- Książki/Rozdziały 
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