Retailers are using classical music to deter unhoused people from loitering

Published September 5, 2023

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The Times Radio in the UK interviewed Elizabeth Bowen, associate professor in the School of Social Work, for a segment about a practice by some major U.S. retailers of playing classical music outside the store — often the same songs on a loop — to deter unhoused people and others from loitering.

“It follows in a long line of policies in the U.S. that have really focused on just trying to move people that are homeless from one location to another without really dealing with the root cause of the problem,” Bowen said. Bowen’s interview begins at 1:43:22.