Date of Award


Degree Type

Capstone Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts in Cultural Studies (BA)


Cultural Studies

First Advisor

Jaafar Aksikas

Second Advisor

C. Richard King


The definition of who the homelessness are has historically been defined by media. This project performs a genealogical analysis influenced by the work Foucault has done in Madness and Civilization to contextualize the way different forms of media through the years has constructed the homeless stereotype we live with today. By zeroing in on awareness media that is produced by independent documentarians, it becomes apparent the goal is not to educate on the systemic issue of homelessness, but more so to create an empathy-based connection between the subject and the viewer. This paper argues that an empathy-based production is not strong enough to evoke actual change and furthermore, undermines its goal of creating awareness through the way it is produced. The underlying importance being, these productions are readily accessible on YouTube. A space that has been acclaimed as the new place to be in the media realm. This is the next step in the media timeline that defines homelessness. Empathy based productions ultimately misrepresent the homeless as a natural occurrence in society and lack a call to action. Therefore, allowing the timeline to continue uninterrupted and the homeless stereotype untouched, but reinforced.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-No Derivative Works 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-No Derivative Works 4.0 International License.