Marcus - Chapter 01
In the summer of 1993, as I neared the end of my contract as staff
ethnographer on a massive three-year federally funded demonstration
project on homelessness, I faced the difficult task of turning
thousands of pages of research data into a doctoral thesis. Throughout
my three years on the job, friends, neighbors, in-laws, and just about
everybody I met at any social gathering had asked me the same question,
"Who are the homeless, really?" When I came to write up my work, I
discovered I still was not any closer to answering this simple
question, despite having passed three years with hundreds of "homeless"
and learning many of the most intimate details of their lives.