Competing representations of Youth homelessness: Media Vs. Advocacy Discourses Introduction Youth homelessness in Canada is a paradoxical reality: although the country has the high GDP, the large economy and the high consumption rate in the North America and even the whole world, there are still a large number of young people who have to face the lack of basic living conditions, such as employment and housing. Today, youth homelessness, which is recognized as a serious social issue in Canada, has been fiercely debated in various scholars and media.
However, while recognizing and analyzing youth homelessness in Canadian society, different parties always demonstrate their own arguments from different views of point or through a variety of representations. This paper will compare different representations of youth homelessness in the city of Vancouver in various language carriers including scholarly articles and the websites of non-government or non-profit organizations. Methodology
This paper is a comparative study. The paper tries to compare different representations of youth homelessness in as scholarly articles and the websites.
Through the comparison, this paper shows discussion and findings shown in following sections. Discussion and Findings
There are many non-government or non-profit organizations which make great efforts to prevent youth homelessness in Canada. And, these organizations usually take advantage of their websites to represent the issues of youth homelessness. For example, according to the statistics of Covenant House Vancouver (2012), currently, there are over 500 – 1000 young people who are in a homeless situation in Vancouver. This is only a conservative estimate because this number does not cover up the hidden homeless young people who live in deplorable conditions, sleep on park benches, or bounce from home to home. Based on previous experience in promoting the decrease of youth homelessness in Vancouver, Vancouver Foundation (2012) summarizes two main lessons: Firstly, though various social organizations provide housing supports for homeless young people through providing the first month’s rent and deposit or signing the lease, the situation of youth homelessness is still not effectively alleviated because of great lack of sufficient funds for rent and significant lack of affordable housing units. Actually, this is a long-term process for those who are experiencing the transition from single homeless youth into self-sufficiency and also a very complex process for the family because of inevitable conflicts between the needs of the mother, the needs of the children and the needs of other family members (Vancouver Foundation, 2012).
Thus, the youth who are homeless and cannot afford basic support and housing services in the city have to live on park benches, in shelters or on the streets during their rest life. 这里加一点advocate group Moreover, Streetohome Foundation (2012) points out that the lack of affordable housing alternatives is the direct cause leading to youth homelessness in the city of Vancouver. As a result of homelessness, a lot of young people have to living in insecure and unsafe housing conditions which further lead to other social problems such as mental diseases or drug taking (Youth Vital Signs, 2012). Based on these examples, in general, these non-government or non-profit organizations mainly engage in providing financial or non-financial supports to those homeless youth in order to help them out of current poor situation. So, the representations of youth homelessness for the websites of these non-government or non-profit organizations always focus on the lessons derived from their previous efforts and contributions on preventing youth homelessness and their current measures or strategies which are used to change the youth’s poor situation. (这些和languge没有关系)That is to say, the representations of youth homelessness for these websites focuses mainly on the surface phenomenon of youth homelessness, such as youth’s poor situation due to homelessness, the social or government response to youth homelessness, and the negative impacts from the homeless youth and on people. These websites generally do not probe the underlying cause of youth homelessness, but want to utilize their social influence to generate public pressure on the governments, relevant organizations and people to change such situation and sympathetic descriptions to express emotions and inspire and influence the public.
For example, the websites about youth homelessness usually directly introduces and interview with those homeless youth who are experiencing homelessness and offers selected details about their poor living environments. And, these websites offer a central source of information that people usually can draw on in shaping personal understandings of youth homelessness in the society. Compared to the representations of youth homelessness shown in the websites, scholarly articles present this issues in different wayswhile discussing the issue of youth homelessness in the city of Vancouver. For example, Basi et al. (2012) in their working paper try to identify the major barriers to reduce homeless youth in the city and further demonstrate an effective strategy to tackle youth homelessness in Vancouver. In this academic article, the authors firstly address some lessons in terms of youth homelessness reduction according to previous scholarly literatures and other jurisdictions. Huckin (2002) indicate that prevention and early intervention of youth homelessness are effective and achievable measures to alleviate the issue of youth homelessness in Vancouver particularly while supported by family reunification strategy, and rely largely upon system-wide collaboration between various government and non-government services. are usually most effectively generated through a collaborative, bottom-up approach, particularly in current Vancouver service system which is seen fragmented. According to Hughes et al. (2010), there is a mix of youth-specific supports (in spite of diversity in terms of different regions, it is still very effective), including mental-health services, addictions treatment, skills training, employment opportunities, counseling, family mediation, education, subgroup-specific supports, long-term housing support, and emergency shelter. 同上 make analyses）In addition, through using semi-structured snowball interviews, Preston et al. (2009) try to identify the tendencies of youth homelessness in Vancouver, take an inventory of current services and programs for reducing homeless youth, and examine initiatives, programs and policies used in this field. In this article, research interviews were performed in the form of face-to-face, email and telephone interviews. In McDonald’s (2011) article, “current policies on rent control allow landlords to raise rents slightly but largely when tenants leave, and the policy doesn’t change”. Little information is opposed information to policies has been found in previous articles due to large numbers of government responders. Through collecting and analyzing data derived from the interviews, indicate that there are many barriers which may have significant effects on prevention of youth homelessness in Vancouver.
These barriers include lack of services dedicated to dealing with unique aspects of overrepresented demographics, treating youth as a homogenous population with a one-fits-all policy, inconsistency in services due to unreliable funding, inflexibility, general lack of youth-specific services and housing, inadequate transition services, and service fragmentation. Based on the results derived from research findings, this article demonstrates some effective programs to tackle youth homelessness in Vancouver. Schneider et al. (2010) also indicates that the reduction of homeless youth in Vancouver needs to rely on increased collaboration between institutions and social services focusing on youth, investment in prevention and early-intervention strategy, and youth prioritization in the form of a clear sub-group of people at risk of homelessness.
Generally, these scholarly articles are always conducted in a set of systematic process. These articles summarize previous lessons or experiences from other scholars through reviewing literatures in this area. And, these scholarly articles also establish their methodology (e.g. qualitative or quantitative, or interviews or questionnaires) to conduct their research. The representations of youth homelessness for these scholarly articles always focus on showing previous lessons through reviewing literatures and demonstrating the root causes and nature of youth homelessness. Thus, the language used in scholarly articles is always in a critical way. These articles do not have emotional tendencies and their value judgment only relies on their analysis. Conclusion
As a serious social issue, youth homelessness has been focused by scholarly articles, organization forums, and various media (such as newspapers or magazines) for a long time. According to the discussion shown above, because these language carriers have different characteristics and functions, their representations of youth homelessness are also different. In terms of the websites of these non-government or non-profit organizations, the representations of youth homelessness always focus on the lessons derived from their previous efforts and contributions on preventing youth homelessness and their current measures or strategies which are used to change the youth’s poor situation. In terms of scholarly articles, the representations of youth homelessness always focus on demonstrating the root causes and nature of youth homelessness. The language used in scholarly articles is always in a critical way. These articles do not have emotional tendencies and their value judgment only relies on their analysis. In conclusion, language used by groups of advocates is more sensitive and direct when represents youth homelessness than that of publications. Since language used in representations of paper and articles are limited, a comparison of that in voices of homelessness form previous scholars and the four main websites will help build a complete awareness among readers.
Basi, S., Clelland, T., Khind, N., Morris, A. & Severinson, P. (2012). Housing Homeless Youth in Vancouver: Key Barriers and Strategic Responses. Working Paper. Vancouver: Simon Fraser University. Covenant House Vancouver (2012). Crisis Shelter. Retrieved 26 Nov. 2012 from http://covenanthousebc.org/services/crisis-shelter Schneider, B., Chamberlain, K. & Hodgetts, D. (2010). Representations of homelessness in four Canadian newspapers: regulation, control and social order. Journal of Sociology & Social Welfare, 37(4), 147-172. Streetohome Foundation (2012). Receives $375,000 from Coast Capital Savings to Support Housing for Youth. Retrieved 26 Nov. 2012 from http://www.streetohome.org/news-events/news-release/2012/feb-23/streetohome-foundation-receives-375000-coast-capital-savings-su Vancouver Foundation (2012). Tackling Youth Homelessness Lessons from the Frontlines. Retrieved 26 Nov. 2012 from http://www.cfc-fcc.ca/news/news.cfm?intNewsID=1593 Youth Vital Signs (2012). Key Findings and Grades – Youth Housing and Homelessness. Retrieved 26 Nov. 2012 from http://www.youthvitalsigns.ca/youthhousing Huckin, T. (2002). Textual Silence and the Discourse of Homelessness. Discourse & society, 13(3), 347–372. Hughes, J. R., Clark, S. E., Wood, W., Cakmak, S., Cox, A., MacInnis, M. (2010). Youth Homelessness: The Relationships among Mental Health, Hope, and Service Satisfaction. Journal of the Canadian Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, 19(4), 274-283. McDonald, L. (2011). Examining Evictions through a Life-Course Lens. Canadian public policy, 37(s1), 115-133. PRESTON, V., MURDIE, R., WEDLOCK, J., AGRAWAL, S., ANUCHA, U., D’ADDARIO, S. (2009). Immigrants and homelessness – at risk in Canada’s outer suburbs. The Canadian geographer, 53(3), 288-304. Schneider, B., Chamberlain, K., & Hodgetts, D. (2010). Representations of homelessness in four Canadian newspapers: regulation, control, and social order. Journal of
Cite this Introduction Youth Homelessness
Introduction Youth Homelessness. (2017, Feb 17). Retrieved from https://graduateway.com/introduction-youth-homelessness/