A genealogy of the problematic of homelessness and the homeless in Australia

Schindeler, Emily Martha (2010) A genealogy of the problematic of homelessness and the homeless in Australia. PhD thesis, Queensland University of Technology.


The homeless have been subject to considerable scrutiny, historically and within current social, political and public discourse. The aetiology of homelessness has been the focus of a large body of economic, sociological, historical and political investigation. Importantly, efforts to conceptualise, explain and measure, the phenomenon of homelessness and homeless people has occurred largely within the context of defining “the problem of the homeless” and the generation of solutions to the ‘problem’. There has been little consideration of how and why homelessness has come to be seen, or understood, as a problem, or how this can change across time and/or place. This alternative stream of research has focused on tracing and analysing the relationship between how people experiencing homeless have become a matter of government concern and the manner in which homelessness itself has been problematised. With this in mind this study has analysed the discourses - political, social and economic rationalities and knowledges - which have provided the conditions of possibility for the identification of the homeless and homelessness as a problem needing to be governed and the means for translating these discourses into the applied domain. The aim of this thesis has been to contribute to current knowledge by developing a genealogy of the conditions and rationalities that have underpinned the problematisation of homelessness and the homeless. The outcome of this analysis has been to open up the opportunity to consider alternative governmental possibilities arising from the exposure of the way in which contemporary problematisation and responses have been influenced by the past. An understanding of this process creates an ability to appreciate the intended and unintended consequences for the future direction of public policy and contemporary research.

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ID Code: 32068
Item Type: QUT Thesis (PhD)
Supervisor: Hayes, Sharon & Carrington, Kerry
Keywords: homeless, homelessness, homeless persons, housing, vagrancy, poverty, disadvantaged groups, governance, government policy, public policy, social policy, housing policy, human rights, politics, politics of law, Australia, genealogy, privacy legislation, tenancy databases
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Law
Institution: Queensland University of Technology
Deposited On: 30 Apr 2010 01:53
Last Modified: 21 Jun 2017 14:43

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