Homelessness – what does it mean? An attempt to theoretically organise the phenomenon Cover Image
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Bezdomność, czyli co? Próba teoretycznego uporządkowania zjawiska
Homelessness – what does it mean? An attempt to theoretically organise the phenomenon

Author(s): Małgorzata Kostrzyńska
Subject(s): Social Sciences, Education
Published by: Wydawnictwa Uniwersytetu Warszawskiego
Keywords: homelessness; social participation; social roles; symbolic interactionism; stigmatisation

Summary/Abstract: The article is an attempt to systematise the extremely rich literature dealing with the phenomenon of homelessness, to which a key has been reading out of the rationale underlying the proposed definitions of homelessness, along with various ways of understanding the causes of it. It is a trial to find the common factors of the proposed perspectives and to grasp the accents exposed in them allowed for the grouping of the phenomenon in three areas: homelessness as a state of “having”/ “not having”, homelessness as minimisation of social participation, and “becoming” homeless as a process of negotiating the identity in symbolic-interactive terms.The motivation for taking up the attempt to theoretically systematise the examined phenomenon was my participative research conducted among homeless men staying on the streets of a big city (2005–2008) and at a hostel created as part of one of the associations (2007–2013). On the one hand, I was guided by the need to know the current research achievements in the area which is in the focus of my interests, and on the other hand, the material collected during the study revealed the need for a different approach than the current perspective on homelessness.

  • Issue Year: 242/2016
  • Issue No: 4
  • Page Range: 221-238
  • Page Count: 18
  • Language: Polish