Date of Award

Spring 2017


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Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA) in Interdisciplinary Studies


Interdisciplinary Studies


This study focuses on the condition of homelessness in Spokane, Washington, as compared to the same condition in larger and more frequently studied cities, using San Francisco and Seattle as a collective comparison tool for examples of large cities. By examining the neoliberalization of large American cities in a capitalist society, I draw out the similarities and differences of how homelessness is manifest and managed in these two different urban contexts. Examined are the societal factors that impact homelessness, for both those without housing and those (i.e., business owners, service providers) impacted by homelessness. This study also highlights the criminalization of homelessness as a neoliberal technique of managing the spatial distribution and visibility of the homeless, including Spokane’s own Community Court. The study reveals that while there are myriad similarities between cities large and small, there are also differences which directly impact the experience of homelessness for those within Spokane.