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Swept Up Lives?. Re–envisioning the Homeless City. RGS–IBG Book Series

  • ID: 2251851
  • Book
  • May 2010
  • 304 Pages
  • John Wiley and Sons Ltd
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Swept Up Lives? challenges conventional accounts of urban homelessness. Moving beyond more familiar narratives concerning the recent purification of public space and attempts to sweep homeless people from the streets, it focuses instead upon the many and complex attempts to care for homeless people in the contemporary city. Drawing upon in–depth ethnographic research with organisations providing homeless night shelters, hostels, day centres, and soup runs – and with the users of these services – the authors emphasize the relationships of care embodied and performed within homeless service spaces. Positioning these attempts to care for homeless people within a broader rapprochement between secular and faith–based ethical motivations, it draws attention to the emergence of a post–secular ethics that runs counter to, and sometimes actively resists, the vicissitudes of neoliberal welfare restructuring and a revanchist (or vengeful) urban politics. The book thus argues for a more nuanced understanding of the ways in which homelessness is governed, paving the way for a characterisation of homelessness that pays greater attention to the agency of homeless people themselves and the complexity of homeless geographies geographies within which homeless people experience a range of relationships that include compassion and care as well as regulation, containment and control.

Swept Up Lives? Re–envisioning the Homeless City offers innovative research and a visionary new approach to shape our understanding of the complexities of urban homelessness.

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Figures and Tables vi

Series Editors′ Preface vii

Acknowledgements viii

Abbreviations x

1 Introduction: Re–envisioning the Homeless City 1

2 From Neoliberalization to Postsecularism 22

3 Tactics and Performativities in the Homeless City 61

4 ′He′s Not Homeless, He Shouldn′t Have Any Food′: Outdoor Relief in a Postsecular Age 92

5 ′It′s Like You Can Almost Be Normal Again′: Refuge and Resource in Britain′s Day Centres 117

6 ′It′s Been a Tough Night, Huh?′ Hopelessness (and Hope) in Britain′s Homeless Hostels 147

7 Big City Blues: Uneven Geographies of Provision in the Homeless City 181

8 On the Margins of the Homeless City: Caring for Homeless People in Rural Areas 211

9 Conclusions 241

References 255

Index 274

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Paul Cloke
Jon May
Sarah Johnsen
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