Ethno-graphic Research on the Bonding of Street Homeless : Making Alliance of Rough World

거리노숙인의 유대 형성에 대한 문화기술지: 삭막한 세계의 동맹자 만들기

  • Published : 2006.08.31


This study is to explore how the bondage of street homeless is made and what it implies. In order to do so, this study does participation-observation for the life of the homeless on the street and drop-in-center according to the ethno-graphic research tradition. Starting from the August of 2005, during the period of six months, we did a field study on the actual conditions of facilities for the homeless in the major parts in Seoul and collected the interview data through the interview-in-depth with 8 homeless people. Following the data-analysis procedures of Spradley(1979), we identified the main domains related to the factors for the bonding of street homeless. These domains show us how the homeless people who were left in the whole new world of homelessness just manage to tide over the crisis of identity and survival. The bondage of street homeless in the situation of street homelessness has been shown to have these following meanings: (1) the cultural significance as their second home, (2) the meaning of an alternative group to be admitted, (3) the maintenance of self-identity by way of distinction in the group. According to these, the self-identity of homeless is dual and, therefore, the meaning and interpretation of their relationship is also dual. This dualistic attitude comes from the process in which the homeless acquire the alliance-resource for the very survival and self-existence. The results of this study confirm that the homeless suffer from the lack of true relationship as well as resources. This study suggests that the supporting policies and services for the street homeless should be achieved qualitatively and integrated under a long range plan.