‘Hard Lives, Mean Streets’ Book Review

Book Review by Tracey Crocker (NCH VISTA in Florida)

“We have become so accustomed to living in a society saturated with misogyny that the barbaric treatment of women and girls has come to be more or less expected” – Bob Herbert, New York Times; 2009

This most recent addition to the Northeastern Series on Gender, Crime, and Law:  “Hard Times Mean Streets: Violence in the Lives of Homeless Women.” The book is an outstanding academic work that offers an in-depth look into the lives of homeless women; providing not only analysis of other relevant academic research but excellent quantitative and qualitative research.  The findings of this study prove what those working with the homeless already know:  gender and violence play key roles in the lives of homeless women.

“Hard Times Mean Streets: Violence in the Lives of Homeless Women” is based on the results of the Florida Four-City Study (Jacksonville, Miami, Orlando, and Tampa).  Over 700 homeless women were interviewed, using structured quantitative interviews and in depth qualitative interviews.  The studies researchers took great care in validating their findings. Among the many notable findings of the Florida Four-City study is the correlation of violence/ victimization and adult homeless with patterns of childhood abuse (emotional, physical and, sexual).

There is outstanding cross referencing with hundreds of source materials (i.e. National Survey of Homeless Assistance Providers and Clients (NSHAPC), and the National Coalition for the Homeless (NCH) just to name a few).  The study also took into consideration explanations of victimization resulting from external forces defined by the “Routine Activities/Lifestyle Theory.”

“Hard Times Mean Streets: Violence in the Lives of Homeless Women” is a must read.  “Who cares, you know? Who fights for the homeless person….who cares?” (Tamara: homeless woman pg. 160).  WE DO!!!

Book Information

Title: Hard Lives, Mean Streets: Violence in the Lives of Homeless Women

Authors:

  • Jana L. Jasinski: Associate Professor of Sociology, University of Central Florida
  • Jennifer K. Wesley: Associate Professor of Criminal Justice, University of North Florida.
  • James D. Wright: Provost Distinguished Research Professor of Sociology, University of Central Florida.
  • Elizabeth E. Mustaine: Associate Professor of Sociology, University of Central Florida.

Publisher: Northeastern University Press

University Press of New England

One Court Street

Labanon NH 03766

Pages: 193

Date: May 2010

ISBN: 978-1-55553-721-0

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2 Responses to ‘Hard Lives, Mean Streets’ Book Review

  1. Ellie Craaybeek says:

    How can I get this book for free?

  2. admin says:

    Your best bet for a free copy would probably be your local library. You might also try to contact the publisher or authors. Thanks for your interest!

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