Without house or home? Understanding homelessness as dwelling

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


Homelessness is widely viewed as among the most compelling forms of poverty in affluent countries. But what is homelessness? This question is deceptively straightforward and the subject of debate in sociology and social policy. These debates are not solely academic, since definitions of homelessness are inseparable from the explanations postulated and solutions offered for it. In Australia, a major point of contention is whether homelessness denotes a lack of physical housing structures or should be understood in relation to the idea of a home, which has social, spatial and subjective elements. Informed by empirical research, this chapter seeks to move beyond the housing/home opposition that underpins much research, developing an understanding of homelessness as a form of dwelling. Its aim is not to provide a final definition of homelessness, but to provide a research framework that facilitates understanding and assist in the navigation of recent debates.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationReimagining home in the 21st century
EditorsJustine Lloyd, Ellie Vasta
Place of PublicationCheltenham
PublisherEdward Elgar Publishing
Number of pages17
ISBN (Electronic)9781786432933
ISBN (Print)9781786432926
Publication statusPublished - 2017


  • homelessness
  • dwelling
  • housing
  • home
  • inequality
  • Australia


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