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The main goal of my thesis is to articulate the problem of homelessness. In order to do this, I examine philosopher Eva Kittay’s work on disability and equality. Throughout her work, Kittay uses the terms human interconnectedness, oppression and citizenship. These three terms serve as the major concepts I explore. Human interconnectedness highlights the links that humans share with one another as interdependent beings. Sharing these connections provides grounding for why care needs to be available for individuals and groups. Oppression is the term used to describe how certain individuals or groups in society are treated unequally or are rejected from society. I argue that individuals experiencing homelessness should be classified as a group because they do experience structural oppression in the form of marginalization. Finally, exploration of citizenship shows the importance of identities in society and how they allow or prevent equality. Rethinking citizenship combats oppression of the homeless. More emphasis needs to be put on these terms to articulate the problem of homelessness. Within each of these terms, I look more closely at notions of dependency, vulnerability, connection-based equality, self-perceptions, and moral responsibilities. These considerations use gender as a lens for an inclusive examination of homelessness. This lens reveals how women experiencing homelessness are particularly disadvantaged by stigmas.

Publication Date


Project Designation

Honors Thesis

Primary Advisor

Denise D James

Primary Advisor's Department



Stander Symposium poster


Presenter: Jamie Anne Vieson

The Stigma of Homelessness as an Identity - Homelessness as a Gendered Condition