Book Review

Don Mitchell's 'Mean Streets'

Patrick Geiger

Published in Issue 4.1 // Updates

Keywords: Homelessness, criminalization, resistance, public space


Don Mitchell’s latest book represents the culmination of three decades of research on the criminalization of homelessness. Drawing heavily from Marxist urban theory, Mitchell invites readers to consider the relationship between capitalism, homelessness, and public space. I argue Mitchell’s analysis is particularly relevant during overlapping socio-economic and public health crises which lay bare the contradictions and abuses of racial capitalism. I call attention to how Mitchell connects struggles over the rights of the unhoused to broader class struggles and his argument for doing ‘social’ things amidst anti-social and anti-urban state responses to crisis.

Patrick Geiger is a PhD student at the Clark University Graduate School of Geography where he studies urban geography, racial capitalism, and the criminalization of homelessness

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