A Study on Social Deviance of Beggars and Nomads

My research partner Maura and I met up in the student center so as to review our research agenda and proposal briefly.  Initially, Sarah and I had no idea where and how to start the project which tackled on observing Deviance Behavior among certain individuals and dwell on sociological aspects (Sagarin, 1972).  With the regard in fulfilling the task assigned to us, we initiated the research by roaming around the campus area, hoping to encounter prospects who shall serve as our subjects all throughout the project. Seemingly, in the light, finally in fortune’s fate, we found a ‘deviant’ individual inside the campus, one Sunday afternoon; we instituted him as the perfect subject for the theme.  Overwhelmed, we decided to head toward the Park Street which actually gave us a bum in the head of traffic.  Accordingly, Park Street is a realm packed with automobiles, tourist, shoppers, lifestyle and trend shops, fancy restaurants, novelty stores, and all the other establishments which may denote the stressing of the word “elite” and basically a high-end shopping district and a busy tourist destination which aims to cater the needs and the ‘demands’ of the higher social quo of the contemporary society.

Encounter with the Homeless Subjects

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The moment we stepped into the hub of Park Street, we came across this beggar, a skinny black male in 50s with grey hair. He was wearing the typical street rat outfit — white shirt and blue jeans, white cotton socks (which consequently turned off-white, for that instance) and a pair of white tennis shoes.  Annoyingly, he was sleeping in front of the ice cream store using his blue back pack serve as his pillow. Aside from that illustration of misfortune, I also noticed that he was lying down awkward, partially blocking the sidewalk, which then implies that numerous by-passers shall heed his situation.  It was almost like his legs were sticking out to the sidewalk, causing people to go around him or over his legs.

Conceivably, on the spot where he seemed to have rested his sanity, he was considerably taken like that of a garbage tin along the streets, muddy and messy, noticed but disregarded by humanity.  It seemed like he was not of the same kind of those who passed along his system – no reaction, no sign of concern from other people – not existing.  Prudently, the rationality of the society deliberately ignored his existence, and that state of fact is proof enough that people are “busy” in their own lives, and other’s business is not a part of their vocabulary.  Worse, we noticed a woman commencing communication with her mobile phone, just a step away from the Nomad (no permanent address), and yet – she never saw the poor soul sleeping beneath her status.

Still feeling poignant, upon what we have witnessed in the orbit of Park Street, we headed north to a busy plaza where we encountered 2nd beggar. We ought to have found numerous similarities on their physical appearance, specifically on their choice of outfit (or we are wondering if they still “do” have a choice at that).  Apparently, this young tall man was sitting on a white bucket lifelessly and was using Quiznos cup to raise revenue from by-passers. He possessed a lifeless expression on his face and often made attempts to talk to anybody who happens to come along his way.  It’s as if he were a child, searching for his mom’s may – but yet again, nobody wanted to talk to him.  As a matter of fact, people always intended to avoid passing by him – it would rather oblige them to give a penny to the beggar, and perceivably, would only raise them the feeling of “guilt” if their pride and selfishness is to swallow their dignity (Mathews & Wacker, 2004).


One block away was another beggar, but unlike the aforementioned Nomads, this guy had been crucially tested by faith taking away his ability to walk; seated on a wheel-chair, blocking the sidewalk and asking for change in his blue pitcher with a hole in it for spare change.  Taking note of those who happens to come across his creed, I have noticed a similar reaction like that of the other two beggars – still, he was ignored, as if he does not exist. Concurrently, down the Park Street we take heed of another homeless male. Consequently, this was a slightly younger black male, maybe in late 30’s wearing blue Carolina T-shirt with jeans, with a camouflage patterned hat.  Cited near the Junior League building, this homeless man was more active compared to those whom we previously encountered. He was shaking a clear large size McDonald’s cup in his hand and holding it out for spare change each time when people walk across him.  But ironically, just when he noticed us observing him in such delight, he walked away leaving his “cup of revenue” in the steps.  It made us think on why he could have done such thing when he was so-called doing his cost for living (Sagarin, 1972).

Heading back to the campus, we noticed a man holding a plate which states “STOP BITCHING, START A REVOLUTION”, stunned with this curly haired street rat, we managed to observe his actions so as to get a gist of his intent.  With the tattoo visible on both of his arms, he kept on shouting as if he was pleading on something sounded like: “Check us out, do you know who we are, have you heard of us? We are a group of radicals”.  For that certain instance, I have been included in the “irritated” tribe of by-passers inevitably crossing my vision on his camaraderie; as a result, he came up to me in perfect astonishment.  And from there, I was able to give answers to my query – they were soliciting financial support from the society for purposes we still could not comprehend (Pelt, 2003).

However, in the whole duration of the study, there was this instance where we have witnessed benevolent act for that matter.  When we were on the verge of heading home, we came across a young woman in black dress, filling up a “coin” hub of a disabled beggar along the sidewalk.  With that rare touching event, it is not quite hard to take to assumption that in a scale of 10, there is still that one percent of hope that there will be people who shall carry half the burden of those who are in need in some stake.

“They do not exist.”

Upon analyzing the main issue of such problem, it is sufficient to state that the society is layered in a pyramid of status quo.  Similar with Geoffrey Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales, his logic on how other people treat other people is primarily the reason why deviance in the society seemingly floats up in the clear waters.  Moreover, the mere fact that these pitiful beggars are considerably ignored by those which happen to pass along the streets of ‘elite’ is a manifestation of either physical annoyance, or the ‘pride’ factor at that. As behavioral psychology deliberately stress, the behavior and approach of an individual to another individual depends on how they try to perceive the person shall be of gain to their existence, or to their level of influence.  As for beggars, the issue is most likely that they appear to be that which does not have any point of path taken in life and thus are asking for “other” people to oblige them to have something to eat – prey is to predator situation, eventually, the feeling goes in vice-versa; all of which tantamount to the fact that the world is inhabited with two groups, those who are able and those who choose not to be “able” to raise a living. Given such reason, it is undeniably the challenge.