Journeys through homelessness: an ethnographic investigation into the lived experiences of homelessness in Glasgow

Burns, Andrew Patrick (2020) Journeys through homelessness: an ethnographic investigation into the lived experiences of homelessness in Glasgow. PhD thesis, University of Glasgow.

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This thesis investigates the lived experience of homelessness in Glasgow, Scotland. Since Scottish devolution in 1999, homeless legislation and policy in Scotland has diverged in important ways from the rest of the UK while, over the same period, the local authority in Glasgow has implemented major homelessness and housing policies. Resources, in homeless and other welfare and social support services, have also been under pressure from a decade of austerity in the UK. This creates a unique legislative, policy, and service-design context in the city with implications for how homelessness is experienced there.
In order to understand the lived experience of homelessness, the thesis draws on the mobilities literature including the concepts of flow and journey. Both journeys and experience are things that have to be passed through and, therefore, journeys provide an analytical lens through which lived experience can be viewed. The thesis is based on eight months of ethnographic fieldwork between November 2017 and June 2018. Relying principally on participant observation, the researcher focussed on the spatial and conceptual journeys of homeless individuals, and those that support them, in order to uncover the complex and dynamic relationships in which homelessness is experienced.
This thesis reveals the ways in which homelessness constitutes an experience of extreme precarity. While precarity in homelessness is not a new or ground-breaking observation, by looking at the journeys of homeless individuals, this thesis shines a light on the all-encompassing and relentless nature of that precarity and how it is experienced in variegated ways. It argues that precarity, freedom, and deservingness exist in complex and reciprocal relationships with each other, mediated by the distribution of power in this field. It shows the impact of these relationships on the lived experience of individuals including on their trajectories through their homeless journey, the knowledge and skills that they build, the actions and interventions that they are subject to, and how they are evaluated by themselves and others

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Qualification Level: Doctoral
Keywords: Homelessness, mobilities, ethnography, Glasgow, precarity, journeys, Scotland.
Subjects: G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GN Anthropology
H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
H Social Sciences > HM Sociology
H Social Sciences > HN Social history and conditions. Social problems. Social reform
Colleges/Schools: College of Social Sciences > School of Social and Political Sciences > Urban Studies
Supervisor's Name: Kintrea, Professor Keith and Pickering, Dr. Lucy and Reid, Dr. Kate
Date of Award: 2020
Depositing User: Dr Andrew P Burns
Unique ID: glathesis:2020-81869
Copyright: Copyright of this thesis is held by the author.
Date Deposited: 15 Dec 2020 14:48
Last Modified: 08 Apr 2022 17:04
Thesis DOI: 10.5525/gla.thesis.81869

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