Decriminalizing (and Re-Humanizing) the ‘Squeegee Kid’
Mentor: Dena Aufseeser, Geography and Environmental Systems
Squeegee Kids are young people between the ages of 10-25 that clean windshields in Baltimore city for a small fee. Their informal but infamous work has been seen as entrepreneurial, hazardous, or criminal over the years. This project uses discourse analysis to analyze and understand the dangerous rhetoric often used to describe these young people and the historical racism that has led to this rhetoric. It also seeks to allow these young people a chance to redefine themselves through a series of interviews. This is all in the hope that, through a more humanizing approach to understanding these ‘Squeegee Kids’, their work, and the reason for it, there can be a more humane discussion around their place in Baltimore city.
This work was funded, in part, through an Undergraduate Research Award from the UMBC Division of Undergraduate Academic Affairs.
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