Practices of Social Regulation and Informal Formalization: A Case Study of America’s Homeless Encampments
Bryn Mawr College. Department of Growth and Structure of Cities
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Using prior literature on homeless encampments as well as applying scholarship on informal settlements in the Global South, this thesis explores the factors that have allowed homeless encampments to endure over the course of decades and examines the formalization processes, both official and unofficial, of these encampments. In addition, this paper studies the formalization of homeless encampments, physically -- evolving from temporary, informal campsites to formal settlements with permanent structures – as well as socially and politically, as the homeless encampment residents form communities, establish forms of self-governance and gain political support and power. Furthermore, this paper examines how these homelessness encampments are shaped by the local political and social environment.