Researcher ORCID Identifier
Campus Only Senior Thesis
Bachelor of Arts
Humanities: Interdisciplinary Studies in Culture
Marina Perez de Mendiola
© 2023 Ishta S Nabakka
Negative sentiments, either physical or verbal, that are expressed towards unhoused people have detrimental effects on them that impact their status as persons. Whether explicit or implicit, these sentiments contribute to the isolation of the unhoused from both society and their humanity. A lack of humanity has the effect of leading to the dehumanization of an individual. In this paper, I explore the history of dehumanization and the impact that the belief has on how people relate to each other. The belief that unhoused people are pseudo-humans is correlated to the response from society that they should then be at the whim of others. Beliefs about the unhoused being pseudo-humans stem from and are compounded by physical and verbal social attitudes that are taken towards them.
To respond to dehumanization, I consider three approaches which are long, sad, sentimental stories, narrative engagement, and sympathetic moral imagination. Each of these appraoches more or less appeal to the pathos of human connection because they encourage one to either sympathetically of empathetically relate to the experiences of other people. Being open to interacting with others and learning from them saturates the experiences that another has in a way that is just as vivid as one’s own life. An individual that is open to re-evaluating long accepted beliefs is one that can expand their moral community to be inclusive of a variety of lifestyles and backgrounds. Morally imaginative behaviors like reading works of literature is not supposed to be a passive and comfortable action, but rather a stimulating endeavor that challenges our fears and blindspots. An individual that is open to re-evaluating long accepted beliefs is one that can expand their moral community to be inclusive of a variety of lifestyles and backgrounds
Nabakka, Ishta S., "Engaging with Others: Understanding, Responding to, and Preventing Dehumanization Among the Unhoused" (2023). Scripps Senior Theses. 2092.
This thesis is restricted to the Claremont Colleges current faculty, students, and staff.