It is clearly times when people are under the most duress that they show the greatest tendency to work together. I clearly remember periods of my childhood when an argument quickly turned into a united defense when a parent walked into the room. People find common ground in their shared struggle.
Homeless people in Buenos Aries, Argentina, are working together to build a better life for themselves. When no one would help them, and when they were thought to be the lowest of the low, they found a way to rely on each other to get the help that they needed, and to start creating changes.
Understanding how people make meaning and create community when those in power or the majority don’t allow them can give important anthropological insight into human culture. This kind of look at making meaning, communities, and communities of practice could be useful to apply to disabled or mentally challenged people, or those with diseases. Understanding how these people work together to create meaning even when they’re not allowed to or supposed to, is an important anthropological look at the world around us. How do people make meaning when they are told they can’t?
Reference: Self-Organization, Integration and Homeless People by Ana Inés Heras