Young Homeless People and Urban Space: Displacements, Mobilities and Fixity

Jackson, Emma. 2010. Young Homeless People and Urban Space: Displacements, Mobilities and Fixity. Doctoral thesis, Goldsmiths, University of London [Thesis]

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This thesis is an investigation into youth homelessness and its spaces in contemporary London. As an issue, homelessness has often been equated with the category of the street homeless individual and the place of the street. Arguing that existing approaches do not capture the complexity of youth homelessness in the multicultural city, this thesis offers an alternative analytical framework based on an exploration of space as dynamic and processes of mobility, fixity and displacement. A multi-method project conducted in a day centre for young homeless people in central London, this research explores participants' lives and daily trajectories, the systems in which young homeless people are implicated and the survival tactics they practise within them. In framing the day centre as a place of the displaced, the thesis provides a different angle on how movement makes city space, foregrounding types and scales of displacement where movement is shaped by loss and violence. The research explores not only the `global in the local' (Massey: 1993) but the other shorter forms of displacements and daily movements that also make urban spaces. A range of spaces of homelessness - including the street, the hostel, the day centre – are explored revealing both the kinds of surveillance that shape participants' pathways and the place-making tactics (de Certeau: 1988) that are practised within them. The thesis argues that young homeless people are fixed in mobility a condition that impacts on both everyday life and possible futures. It examines how the enmeshing of systems, the presence of persistent pasts and the lack of tangible imagined futures suspends these young people in a precarious present.

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Thesis (Doctoral)

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Date Deposited:

16 Jul 2020 10:56

Last Modified:

12 Sep 2022 11:23


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