An impediment to solving social issues such as homelessness lies in people’s stereotyped views and lack of knowledge regarding the issues. Holding stereotypes of entire groups of people often marginalizes the group of people and perpetuates their struggle. This can be seen in stereotypes that are held of individuals experiencing homelessness. The homeless population is highly stigmatized in the U.S. based on stereotyped views. Previous research, such as that completed by Knecht & Martinez (2009) indicates that individuals who have positive interaction with people experiencing homeless, as well as education about the issue, are much less likely to hold stereotyped views. In this study, I surveyed 148 Bridgewater State University students regarding their personal opinions regarding the homeless, as well as their experience level and education concerning the population. The survey was conducted through a snowball sample online. The data shows a relationship between personal experiences working with the homeless population and a lack of stereotyped views. Additionally, those whom have served homeless populations generally have more positive, realistic views of the population and the greater issue of homelessness.
Jodi Cohen (Thesis Advisor)
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Original document was submitted as an Honors Program requirement. Copyright is held by the author.
Cronin, Julie. (2014). Perceptions and Misconceptions: The Relationship Between Education and Understandings of Individuals Experiencing Homelessness. In BSU Honors Program Theses and Projects. Item 37. Available at: http://vc.bridgew.edu/honors_proj/37
Copyright © 2014 Julie Cronin