TU Berlin

Center for Metropolitan StudiesNicholas Anastasakos

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Nicholas Anastasakos: "Reconstituting the Fringe: The Political Culture of Homelessness in Manhattan, 1972-1979"

This paper will examine the evolution of cultural and political conceptions of homelessness in New York City during the 1970s. The analysis will focus on two levels: the structural, where economic and juridical shifts altered the social and legal boundaries of homelessness and the cultural, where changes in the popular imagination reshaped homeless discourse. Framing the paper and providing an interpretive arc will be a 1972 Supreme Court case which struck down vagrancy ordinances, and a successful 1979 class action suit which forced N.Y. municipalities to provide a legal minimum of homeless services.

About the Author

Nicholas Anastasakos is a doctoral student in Brown University’s History Department. His research focuses on twentieth-century U.S. urban and social history, and he is currently working on a dissertation which examines homelessness in New York City from 1950 until 1988.

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