Thesis Title

Understanding the Communication of the Homeless: Meanings and Account Analysis of Life on the "Monkey Trail"

Date of Graduation

Summer 1992

Degree

Master of Arts in Communication

Department

Communication

Committee Chair

Charlene Berquist

Subject Categories

Communication

Abstract

This study examines how the homeless account for their situation and lifestyle, and based upon account classification systems previously developed (Schonbach, 1980; and Antaki and Fielding, 1981), what types of accounts the homeless use to explain and ascribe meaning to their lives. Implementing in-depth interviews with a total of ten male and female homeless adults in two Midwestern cities, a qualitative analysis of acquired data was conducted. The results indicated the homeless account for their situation and lifestyle within three broad frames: causes, experiences, and future plans. Within each frame exists further account types, some of which are based upon previous research, and others constructed as a result of the current study. Previous research has been verified, and through the use of real people in naturalistic settings, knowledge of accounts theory as well as the homeless has been advanced. Further implications and suggestions for future study are also discussed.

Copyright

© David Scott Haedike

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Dissertation/Thesis

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