J. M. Reinhardt
J. O. Hertzler
Date of this Version
Many authoritative and exhaustive studies of the personality deviant have been made within the last decade. These studies have attempted to disclose the causative factors which appear, not only in individual, isolated cases, but which tend to recur in many cases of the same type. Much of this work has been done by obtaining detailed histories of individuals who have violated one or more of society's legal or moral codes, and who have been sentenced to penal or medical institutions for retention and treatment.
There is a type of individual, however, who has not received as much attention as the law-breaker, but who is still, from the point of view of society, a maladjusted and marginal member of society. The transient or migratory-casual worker is often a man without ties to family, without a home, and without any aim or purpose in his life. He moves from place to place, often covering large areas, doing work which is distinctly casual in nature. He appears to be both unable and unwilling to settle down. Just as one type of personality deviant may find release and temporary adjustment in theft or burglary, so, it would seem, does the transient effect what seems to him the only possible adjustment. He is on the move, he expresses little or no desire for stability, and even if he finds his life a hard and unrewarding one materially, he is unwilling and often unable to give it up.
In an attempt to gain some understanding of the transient, twenty men who came to the Salvation Army Aid Station were interviewed. While the Salvation Army is not a research organization, it was felt that such an agency would be a source from which fairly representative data could be secured.