The existence of social inequalities, of course, is nothing new. Throughout history, we can find infinite examples of discrimination based on different characteristics: gender, racial origin, sexual identity or discrimination against people with disabilities. And these are just some examples.
However, social inequalities are not always visible, when discrimination is based on economic issues, namely discrimination against the poor. Nevertheless, we can all imagine situations of rejection towards poor people that we have witnessed on a daily basis. That is, unfortunately, an issue throughout the globe.
We need words to describe the phenomena we witness. It is necessary to give a name for discrimination against homeless people, because homeless people suffer discrimination just for the fact of being homeless.
If we do not have names for phenomena, they are not real for us.
Many academic language institutions still do not recognize the term, which is being used to describe discrimination against homeless people. However, in recent years a term aporophobia has become more popular, thanks to Adela Cortina, a Spanish philosopher and professor of ethics at the University of Valencia, Spain.
The word aporophobia unites two greek terms: á-poros and póbeo. The first term means poor, without resources, helpless; and the second, fear or rejection. So, aporophobia can be defined as the rejection of poor people, or those who do not have economic resources.
Ética (1996), written by Adela Cortina, points out that we do not discriminate against the immigrant, if he is rich, or the famous footballer for being black. Nor to the retired with economic resources. But we do discriminate the poor, the homeless. Therefore, the term aporophobia defines a reality.
If we do not have names for phenomena, they are not real for us. And vice versa, when we have a term for complex social issue, the reality of many people will become visible.