tration and dispersion, to one of strategic institutional power that could contest other institutions, however briefly. Contesting power led to higher levels of activity and self-esteem among both park residents and activists, and to higher levels of empowerment on an individual level.
Broad-scale empowerment of the homeless, which envisioned a developing political power, was considerably more diffuse and problematic among residents of Garden Grove Park, partly because it was dependent upon political actions at the state and federal level. However, one should not be quick to dismiss the micro-level resistance tactics of the displaced. While their difficulties may be problematic for a political theory of resistance, this in no way negates the role that local micro-level resistance tactics play in grounding larger political movements. Resistance is often important to the homeless themselves, even if conditions are not sufficient to sustain a resistance movement beyond the local level. Resistance tactics require a high degree of risk that may not be immediately acceptable to particular homeless populations.
We are indebted to Jennifer Wolch, Michael Dear, Mark Gottdiener, Michael Rotkin, Sue Ruddick, and Roger Keil for their critique and helpful comments on earlier drafts of this paper. A preliminary version of this paper was presented at the 1990 Annual American Sociological Association conference, Washington, D.C.
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Publication information: Book title: There's No Place like Home:Anthropological Perspectives on Housing and Homelessness in the United States. Contributors: Anna Lou Dehavenon - Editor. Publisher: Bergin & Garvey Publishers. Place of publication: Westport, CT. Publication year: 1999. Page number: 142.
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