Informed Consent: Information Production and Ideology
How many Americans are homeless? Although taking a census may sound simple, ensuring an accurate count is the least of its problems. Census takers in all walks of life exercise great care in determining what information is to be collected, how it is to be recorded, and how the findings are ultimately to be presented. But who decides which evaluation frameworks and indicators are to be used? Do all concerned-census takers and respondents view those indicators in the same manner? Do institutional and social imperatives outweigh individual bias and perspective? And if so, is that really what we want? Informed Consent analyzes the interplay between ideology and information. Through extensive research on how information about the homeless is generated and interpreted, Lisa Schiff offers both hard evidence and a convincing argument for questioning "how service providers create forms and clients complete them, how advocates administer surveys and public agencies compile counts." At the same time, she explores the day-to-day implications of her findings by demonstrating how competing understandings affect prevailing ideologies, which in turn affect our attempts at social change.
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DEFINITIONS AND PREMISES
INFORMATION PRODUCTION IN CONTEXT
IDEOLOGY THE DOMINATING CONCEPTIONS OF HOMELESSNESS
MECHANISMS CONNECTING IDEOLOGY AND INFORMATION PRODUCTION
Key Elements of the Field of Homelessness
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ability abuser/mentally ill conception activities actually advocacy advocates African American agencies almshouse analysis Antonio Gramsci authority-capital Bourdieu capital case-management causes of homelessness clients context created data production definition of homelessness described discussed documents dominating conceptions dominating ideologies drugs efforts example families field of homelessness firsthand focus focused formerly homeless fucking funders funding homeless person identify identity Ideological State Apparatuses ideology and information individual individual-responsibility ideology individual's information practices information production information-production practices instance institutions intake forms intake process interview subjects issues Kim Hopper lack legitimacy less living Louis Althusser McKinney Act mechanisms mental illness Michel Foucault money management Norman Fairclough organizations paternalism permanent housing Pierre Bourdieu population power-over-capital primary problem programs questions rehabilitation reports Rick San Francisco service providers shelter someone specific streets substance abuse substance abuser/mentally ill surveys there's tion types understand