By Hartley Dean
Begging is generally condemned, yet little understood. it's more and more seen, but politically arguable. although begging is associated with problems with highway homelessness, psychological health and wellbeing, and social exclusion, this booklet specializes in begging as a particular kind of marginalized fiscal task. It seems to be at: the importance of face-to-face touch among beggars and passers-by; the preoccupation with the type of beggars; the stigma linked to begging and decisions required through the passer-by; and where of begging within the spectrum of casual financial task. The ebook additionally takes under consideration the voices of beggars themselves.
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Extra info for Begging Questions: Street-Level Economic Activity and Social Policy Failure
The modern welfare state served, it has been argued, at one level to suppress begging and the giving of alms (Offe, 1984), but at another to provide a secular apparatus through which to meet our need for sanctification through giving (Titmuss, 1973). According to Giddens, modernity with its infinitely attenuated network of both market and bureaucratic relations, entailed a ‘transformation of intimacy’ and the transformation of the ‘stranger’ into just “someone I don’t know” (1990, p 119; see also Ignatieff, 1984).
The beggar seeks to manage not only without the labour market, but without the welfare state and, in so doing reminds us that the nature of our own citizenship has been eroded. As the stranger in our midst, the beggar now perhaps evokes a new fear. In feudal times, the giving of alms to strangers could sanctify the donor and afford some assurance against the risk of hell-fire and damnation (Lis and Soly, 1979). The emergence of capitalism contrived a resurgence of a primaeval fear of strangers until this could be assuaged or at least modified through the development of the welfare state.
Reports in newspapers, at regular intervals, reflect a negative perception of begging (see below). Rather than explaining the possible causes of increasing begging, reports consistently portray people who beg as dishonest and undeserving of the sympathy or generosity of the passer-by. These accounts appear to hold some influence in the construction of public attitudes towards begging. A typical example of this is a Sunday Times story which set out to expose a fraudulent beggar, who drove a new car to his begging stance, changed into old clothes and then, faking a disability, begged for the day.