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On Hobos and Homelessness

Edited and with an Introduction by Raffaele Rauty
Nels Anderson was a pioneer in the study of the homeless. In the early 1920s Anderson combined his own experience "on the bummery," with his keen sociological insight to give voice to a largely ignored underclass. He remains an extraordinary and underrated figure in the history of American sociology.

On Hobos and Homelessness includes Anderson’s rich and vibrant ethnographic work of a world of homeless men. He conducted his study on Madison street in Chicago, and we come to intimately know this portion of the 1920s hobo underworld—the harshness of vagrant life and the adventures of young hobos who come to the big city. This selection also includes Anderson’s later work on the juvenile and the tramp, the unattached migrant, and the family. Like John Steinbeck’s Depression-era observations, Anderson’s writings express the memory of those who do not seem entitled to have memory, whose lives were expressed in temporary labor.

310 pages | 20 halftones, 1 map, 1 line drawing, 3 tables | 6 x 9 | © 1998

Heritage of Sociology Series

History: American History

Social Work

Sociology: General Sociology, History of Sociology, Urban and Rural Sociology

Table of Contents

The Hobos
1: Introduction to the Phoenix Edition of The Hobo
2: Hobohemia Defined
3: The Jungles: The Homeless Man Abroad
4: The Lodging House: The Homeless Man at Home
5: The Hobo and the Tramp
6: Summary of Findings and Recommendations
7: Summary of a Study of Four Hundred Tramps, Summer 1921
8: How and the Hobos: Character Sketch of J.E. How, "Millionaire Hobo"
9: The Slum: A Project for Study
10: The Juvenile and the Tramp
11: An Old Problem in New Form
12: The Unattached Migrant
13: Migrancy and the Labor Market
14: A Family in the Hobomania Era
15: The Sort of Jobs the Hobo Brought
Urban Context: Work, and Leisure
16: Some Dimensions of Time
17: The Trend of Urban Sociology
18: Urbanism as a Way of Life
Selected Bibliography

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