Stereotypes of Homeless Youth and University Students

By:
To add a paper, Login.

Homeless youth as part of urban communities is a phenomenon that Canadians have experienced in common with not only North American and other Western countries, but also worldwide. Viewed by the larger society in many ways; these young people are often stigmatized and judged; at the same time in recent years we see greater understanding, societal empathy and also identification as a population segment with specific service needs. In order to accomplish the objectives of this study, the program design was based primarily on data collected from key stakeholders (i.e. homeless youth and university students), but also incorporates relevant literature and theory. Stereotypes that homeless youth and university students hold of the other group have not been explored in the literature. Differences were observable between these groups in several areas. Students did not overtly stereotype homeless youth, admitting however, knowing the politically correct answers. Objective feelings and thoughts about homeless youth were difficult to obtain. They seemed very careful in the language that they used when speaking about the homeless and did not talk about homelessness as a personal fault or issue. On the other hand, most of the homeless youth spoke of students in a stereotypical manner, making assumptions about extreme wealth and good relationships with parents. Much of the information that the homeless youth presented was from television. While university youth denied stereo-typing many of the homeless youth expressed poor treatment by the general public because of stereotypes. They felt that others have looked down on them and treated them like they were nothing because of the way that they look. These areas will be expanded upon and implications will be discussed.


Keywords: Sterotyping, Homeless Youth, University Students
Stream: Ethnicity, Difference, Identity
Presentation Type: Paper Presentation in English
Paper: A paper has not yet been submitted.


Dr. Brenda Elizabeth Munro

Professor, Department of Human Ecology, University of Alberta
Edmonton, Alberta, Canada

Dr. Brenda Munro is a professor in the Department of Human Ecology. She teaches and conducts research in the areas of intimate relationships and youth at risk. Her current research projects include work with homeless youth and theatre the use of interactive theatre in working with youth who are thirteen to fourteen years old. Theoretical perspectives that have been applied in this research are identity development and attachment theory.

Patti LaBoucane-Benson

Director of Research and Evaluation, Native Counselling Services of Alberta
Edmonton, Alberta, Canada

Patti LaBoucane-Benson is a Métis PhD candidate who grew up in St. Paul, Alberta. Her dissertation research is about Aboriginal Family Resilience, and she expects to complete June 2008. Patti’s research has received a number of awards including a Social Sciences and Research Council Doctoral Fellowship and a Doctoral Scholarship from the Pierre Elliot Trudeau Foundation.

She has worked for Native Counselling Services of Alberta for 10 years, and is currently the Director of Research and Communication. Patti has initiated and led of many community-based, applied research projects within the Aboriginal community in Canada, including a Costs Benefit Analysis in Hollow Water First Nation, the on-going evaluation of the Community Solution to Gang Violence and Alberta Aboriginal Legal Education Centre. She has also been part of the development of healing program curriculum for NCSA, and is the co-editor of the periodical “Pimatisiwin: A Journal of Indigenous and Aboriginal Community Health Research”.

Dr. Lia Ruttan

Affiliation not supplied
Edmonton, Alberta, Canada


Prof. Gordon Bruce Munro

Affiliation not supplied
Edmonton, Alberta, Canada


Ref: H08P0092