Reframing family homelessness: a citizenship approach


This is the first paper from a project which draws on recent scholarship about citizenship, emphasising gender, culture and place (e.g. Lister, 2007), to develop a richer understanding of homelessness experienced by families with children, predominantly women with children This scholarship suggests that citizenship is not confined to formal relations between citizens and the state but also includes other types of relationships between citizens, some of which occur in the private rather than the public sphere. According to this work, citizenship is more than a formal statement of rights and responsibilities; it is practised on a day-to-day basis through a series of individual and cumulative interactions between people. The research frames the experiences of the homeless families in terms of 'citizenship as practice' (Desforges, Jones & Woods, 2005) and seeks to understand the everyday lived experience of homelessness. This paper presents the early findings from the first wave of a qualitative, longitudinal research project which enables families to detail and interpret their lived experiences as they deal with homelessness and attempt to improve their lives. The research findings suggest that homeless families have to make many compromises in daily practices in order to access crisis and transitional housing and that these compromises, as well as their material circumstances, affect their sense of control and agency in critical ways

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Swinburne Research Bank

Provided original full text link time updated on 5/26/2016

This paper was published in Swinburne Research Bank.

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